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Home Opinion Celebrating Yusuf Sambo, leader of Scotland’s 5G Revolution- By Prof. MK Othman
Celebrating Yusuf Sambo, leader of Scotland’s 5G Revolution- By Prof. MK Othman

Celebrating Yusuf Sambo, leader of Scotland’s 5G Revolution- By Prof. MK Othman


Readers of this column may recall that from the last quarter of 2016 up to Friday, February 17, 2017, I published 5-series article titled “Nigerian Born Investors, their Inventions, Challenges and Opportunities ( and;postID=8465991191574425538;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=81;src=postname

In the article, I stated that the list of Nigerian inventors and their inventions couldn’t be exhaustive. A huge country like Nigeria with a deep-rooted diversity and exponential increase in population, invention by “hook or crook” to survive daily challenges of life becomes the order of the day. Necessity makes people to think deeply on how to address their problems, constraints and threats against their living condition. Invention is about coming up with a great idea, about turning the idea into a product, about making the product workable and making people to be aware about the workable product. The product should not only be acceptable by the people but should be sellable to recoup the cost of putting it on the market with a huge profit margin. This is year, on Friday, 25th January 2019, I updated my 2016/17 series of article with another christened “Update on Nigerian born inventors: Celebrating the Invention of Koniku Kore”.

“Koniku Kore” is certainly a name made by the inventor from one of the 100s of multiple local languages being used in Nigeria. It was the result of years’ tireless effort, commitment and dedication to turn unimaginable into reality for the advancement of mankind. Koniku Kore is one invention that came to limelight, aimed at making the seemingly ‘impossible’ become possible in the global technological revolution as man is striving hard to unearth unsolvable challenges posed by nature. As discussed in the article, Koniku Kore is a giant invention of the 21st century, it is a device, which can fuse live neurons from mice stem cells into a silicon chip invented by a USA based Nigerian, Oshi Agabi. The device is a next generation neuro computing platform that can provide uses in security, military and agriculture. An example would be that a single neuro-chip device could sniff out explosives without even seeing it. The creation of this seemingly synthetic brain is a breakthrough combination of robotics, neuro-biology, computing and bioengineering. The detail can be accessed in my blog.

The inventions made by Nigerians at home and abroad are inexhaustible and perhaps need to be catalogued in a book for references. Some of the inventions have been in existence longtime ago but are recently coming to lime light while few others were newly made, Nigerians are special breed of creatures endowed with above average level of ingenuity, hard work and perseverance. Yes, of course, there are few lazybones in our midst.

Now back to Nigerian inventors, like US based Nigerian, Prof. Oshi Agabi playing with his famous ‘toy’ – Koni Kore perfecting it to serve the global world of IT users in diverse sectors; health, security, agriculture, etc, another Nigerian is making history in Europe. He is Yusuf Abdulrahman Sambo. Sambo is a second-class upper division, 2010 electrical engineering graduate of our famous Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, simply called ABU. ABU Zaria is no doubt, the largest, diverse and most cosmopolitan university in Nigeria, which is known to be leading in engineering, agriculture and medical sciences.

Yusuf Sambo earned a PhD degree with ‘flying color’ from University of Surrey, UK at the age of 27, a rare feat that made him a PhD genius. He is currently making waves for building the first real-time 5G testbed dedicated to Self-Organized Networks (SON) in the UK. Thus, he now leads the £1.2m University of Glasgow research team for 5G testbed, on behalf of Scotland. (

What is 5G? Why is 5G important to global economy generically driven by global trade war? After the global “cold war” of the 1970/90s, between the giant nations, the world is today faced with trade wars among the largest economies especially between the United States and The Peoples Republic of China. The recent climax of the war made President Donald Trump signed an executive order that “no US company should use telecommunications equipment made by technology companies that pose national security risks”, notably referring to Chinese products.  The Executive order is obviously targeted at the Chinese tech company, Huawei, which is reputed to be the leading corporation in 5G revolution in Asia and beyond. Experts say the US may lose as much as $500 billion, if China beats America to the best 5G technology, This underlines the importance of 5G now and the future for the billions of ICT users globally and in deed for the whole world. Soon, the leading countries with 5G technology will make billions of US dollars, and greatly improve their economies as well as wellbeing of their citizenries with great prosperity.

Now what is 5G technology?

Internet users in Nigeria and many other countries are used to Edge, 2G, 3G and 4G Internet services in relation to access and speed of the service when downloading or accessing a website. However, according Wikipedia “5G networks are digital cellular networks, in which the service area covered by providers and divided into small geographical areas called cells. Analog signals representing sounds and images are digitized in the phone, converted by an analog to digital converter and transmitted as a stream of bits. All the 5G wireless devices in a cell communicate by radio waves with a local antenna array and low power automated transceiver (transmitter and receiver) in the cell, over frequency channels assigned by the transceiver from a pool of frequencies, which are reused in other cells. The local antennas are connected with the telephone network and the Internet by a high bandwidth optical fiber or wireless backhaul connection. As in other cell networks, a mobile device crossing from one cell to another is automatically “handed off” seamlessly to the new cell”.

In a more simplified explanation, 5G is the next – fifth-generation of mobile internet connectivity with prospect of much faster data download and upload speeds, wider coverage and more stable connections. It is all about making better use of the radio spectrum and enabling far more devices to access the mobile Internet at the same time. This means that whatever a smart phone is doing with 4G, it will do it faster and better providing much higher quality video and audio and making things “smarter”. Imagine “herds of drones co-operating to carry out search and rescue missions, in a dangerous incidents such as fire, flood, fire assessments and traffic monitoring, all communicating wirelessly with each other and ground base stations over 5G networks. Similarly, imagine driverless or autonomous vehicles communicating with each other and reading live map and traffic data while moving seamlessly to their destination, imagine a pilotless plane……

Thus, the 5G technology is “to enable a world where everything is provided wirelessly to the end device by a fixed and mobile (converged) infrastructure that functions across the whole geography”. 5G is the so-called “Internet of things” or the “in thing” in today’s world.  For instance, with 5G technology, a medical patient in Nigeria can be operated medically from a doctor India or America without physically being in India or America.

This is the technology, Yusuf Abdulrahman Sambo is leading a team of famous scientists in a faraway Scotland to perfect it for the country. The first woman Minister of the Country, Nicola Sturgeon was quoted saying “the country is aiming to be the 5G leader in the United Kingdom as the technology could enable Scotland to add about £17 billion to GDP by 2035 and create 160,000 jobs”. This is one of the most celebrated happenings to both countries; UK and Nigeria. Now, who is Yusuf Sambo? How did he achieve this feat? And what are the positive implications of Yusuf’s achievements and other Nigerians in diaspora to Nigeria? To be concluded next week.




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