PNG govt puts hold on 5G development

4:16 pm on 30 December 2019

Papua New Guinea's ICT Minister wants the country's internet providers to hold off on any development of 5G until all risks from the new technology are evaluated.

A man speaks on the phone next to a 5G hotspot sign displayed at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February.

Photo: AFP

Tim Masiu said the Department of Communications and Information Technology would undertake thorough research of 5G technology, including any potential health risks.

He acknowledged that 5G could have a transformative effect on communication and therefore business, but that it would be a very costly development for PNG.

Mr Masiu instead would like the country's service providers to focus on extending their rural roll out.

"What I would like to see is Bemobile and Digicel and these other service providers is to improve services to the rural areas of Papua New Guinea.

"I think that is the first and foremost responsibility we have in making sure that the mass population in the country receive basic services in telecommunications," he said.