Amid the myths that have trailed the 5G network, MTN Nigeria on Wednesday, August 24, rolled out the next generation of network infrastructure in Nigeria, making it the first to achieve that feat. About 190 sites were switched on to test the mobile network which the company intends to launch in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Kano, Owerri, and Maiduguri.
Before its launch, the 5G network has been riddled with lots of myths. From being the cause of COVID-19 to an apocalyptic sign, the theories are endless. However, the 5G network in simple terms is just the fifth generation of mobile networks which comes with more benefits than harm. It is designed to connect everyone and everything in such a way that will empower new user experience. It will facilitate the Internet of Things(IoT) and the much-talked-about Metaverse. It comes with peak data speed and low latency and will help in connecting industries.
The creative industry is one of those industries that the 5G network will have an impact on. From film, and music to the event planning industry, the mobile network will enhance the experience.
“The ease of the viewing experience, that is, seamless streaming, stability of the connection and the speed as well will improve with 5G technology,” said Nigerian filmmaker Mr. Femi Odugbemi who believes that the future of film in Africa is inseparable now from the technology driving telecommunications.
“It is exciting to see how technology has created alternatives and options in distribution for Nollywood,” he continued. “Technology has also helped to a great extent to reduce piracy, which was a huge scourge for intellectual property rights in Nollywood. There will also be many added benefits that technology offers in terms of real-time data collation of audience behaviours which will be useful for planning for film industry regulators, investors and producers. So 5G is a welcome opportunity for the creative industries, especially for content creators.”
For the Head Honcho at Efizzi Worldwide and Efizzi Communications Mr. Collins Akpapunam, the benefits of 5G to the entertainment industry in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. His company is known for organising and curating events for top brands across the country and is huge on audio-visual projects.
“5G will enable easy streaming of 4-8K videos and create greater outreach for lovers of entertainment to watch the latest Nollywood film releases on Netflix and other digital platforms. It will also allow sports lovers in Nigeria to follow live streams of football matches and other sporting events from around the world as well as help the creative industry to catch up with world trends as they evolve speedily in different formats.”
Akpapunam is particularly worried however about the challenge of epileptic power supply which will grossly affect its services. Nonetheless, he sees technological development as a harbinger of exciting times for the world.
Hakeem Condotti, the CEO of BLK Hut, the company behind the current season of ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’ show has already sampled the 5G network and is impressed by the promise it holds.
“On the production side, we still rely on a lot of physical storage because we don’t get internet access everywhere but with 5G, you will be shooting and storing in the cloud straight away because we know the bandwidth is there and can carry it. I can’t count how many hard drives we are currently running in storage. So storage is one problem that it will solve as well help in easy upload of content,” he said.
Live streaming of events will be easier and faster as well. Hopefully, before the end of the year, Nigeria would have fully entered the 5G race alongside countries like South Africa and Kenya.