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Broadband: Nigeria wants to meet 30% target by 2018

Broadband: Nigeria wants to meet 30% target by 2018
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The Federal Government on Thursday said that plans are underway to ensure that Nigeria meets its 30 percent broadband penetration target by year 2018.

Professor Umaru Danbata, Executive Vice Chairman of Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC), who gave the assurance said the team at the nation’s telecoms regulatory agency is expediting actions to ensure the broadband target is fully realised.

Danbata, who was represented by Mr Tony Ojobo, Director of Public Affairs at NCC, told the eWorld Forum held in Lagos that various initiatives  have been  outlined which he believe will contribute to achieving this objective.

The telecoms regulatory chief  believes that broadband is getting global attention as the next big thing that will not only drive communications, but the global economy of the future. In his view, broadband also occupies a very prominent space for the future of either bridging the digital divide or enlarging the digital inclusion.

”We are in a hurry to catch up with this desirable objective and therefore putting every effort on the table to ensure that we succeed”, Danbata said in one of the key outcomes at the e-World Forum organized in Lagos to focus on expanding the Nigeria’s digital frontier.

Broadband penetration in Nigeria is estimated to have about 10 percent broadband, a position seen as far from the 30 percent target proposed in 2013 by the National Broadband Plan developed to promote nationwide spread of high-speed Internet services.

NATCOM must pay, Professor Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman at NCC, insists
Professor Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman at NCC
Danbatta believes that the vision is achievable underscoring that ”this is why it occupies a very important place in the 8-Point Agenda of my administration, which have been sufficiently discussed with the media, the key stakeholders and even the international community.”
He assured that his team will strive to ensure Nigeria is not left out of broadband as ” we are making every effort that will make our citizenry to enjoy the full benefits of broadband in the foreseeable future.”
One of such initiatives is the proposed auction of six slots of 2.6GHz frequency spectrum scheduled for May 16, this year in Abuja.
Mr Tony Ojobo Director Public Affair NCC, representing Prof Danbatta at the event
Mr Tony Ojobo, Director Public Affair NCC, who represented Danbatta at the event
Winners of these auctions are expected to achieve nationwide roll out for wholesale and retails wireless broadband services across the country “within a couple of years.”
According to Danbatta, ”we hope this will energise competition at that level and force some of them who are resting on their oars in this segment of the market to wake up.”
”We are aware that the market data provisioning market is thriving with more than 97 million Nigerians being very active on the Internet. Social media platforms are being fully employed in all segments of the Nigerian market. Online businesses and online shopping, hotel bookings, online malls are all on the top gear.”
Tony-Ojobo Dir.-Public-Affairs-NCC-with -Gbenga-Adebayo Chairman-ALTON at the event
Tony-Ojobo Director Public-Affairs at NCC-with Gbenga-Adebayo Chairman Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operator of Nigeria (ALTON) at the event
He noted that the Infrastructure licenses, of which two were already issued for Lagos and North Central Zones, are being refreshed for the provision of similar licenses for other remaining zones as already earmarked by the Commission.
”We are all aware that we have some form of broadband in the existing networks, which are limited sometimes by location. They may not at the level desired of the current speed of broadband but we trust that the mobile service providers in Nigeria have what it takes to optimize their networks and deploy infrastructure to upgrade their services”, the telecoms regulator said.
Some participants at the event
Some participants at the event
”As a regulator that is very much in tune with the environment under which services are delivered in Nigeria, we have also engaged in a number of interventions, and advocacies, aimed at easing some of the many challenges confronting the industry. Cases of right-of-way and multiple taxations are very topical in this direction. We are engaging some of the key stakeholders that are critical to resolving some of these challenges”, he adds.
Also speaking at the event, Engr Gbenga Adebayo, Chairman of Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operator of Nigeria (ALTON), asked stakeholders to protect telecoms infrastructure because of their critical role for the Nigerian economy.
Gbenga-Adebayo, Chairman-ALTON speaks at the event
Engr Gbenga Adebayo Chairman of Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operator of Nigeria (ALTON) speaks at the event
He underscored the pivotal role telecommunications plays in the lives and economic well-being of any country.
”The protection of our infrastructure is key, the industry has developed a lot of infrastructure which needs to be protected, therefore we must be able to protect this infrastructure in order to support other sector of the economy”, Adebayo told the forum.

 

The ALTON Chairman wants Nigeria to take a cue  from the recent Brussel attack in Belgium where the identity of  perpetrators of the attackers have been seen because they have the infrastructure and it was protected.

 

”The unfortunate incident in Belgium, if you follow the story, the picture of the bombers has been gotten. Why? This is because they have an infrastructure that have been protected”, Adebayo told the forum.

He however  invite the media to play  a vital role of propagating good  contents about the telecoms sector noting that ”nobody can report about the sector expect the media”

According to him, ”we understand the powers of the pen and we know that the media will stand to be counted when we discuss the progress made in this industry. We therefore will continue to count on the media for the support”.

In his intervention, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, Chairman of Teledom International asked government to focus on capacity-building in human capital growth, supply chain development and partnership with local organizations and businesses for talent and infrastructure development and support.

Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem Chairman Teledom International
Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, Chairman of Teledom International

He believe that Nigeria has got the required skills and talent to be function  better than their foreign counterpart when their services are engaged in any field of endevours

”For Nigerians, that means hiring local staff and have Nigerian leaders provide development opportunities to Nigerian SMEs”, he said.

”There is no software that runs on any device that cannot be developed by our indigenous companies”, Ekuwem added.

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Kolade Akinola Technology Journalist at Technology Times Mobile: + 234 (0) 807 401 6027

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