The Nigerian telecoms market offers “an avalanche of opportunities”, government has told prospective bidders in the auction of fresh frequency spectrum scheduled for next month in Abuja under a plan to further unlock broadband services in the country.
[blockquote right=”pull-right” cite=”NCC“]”Most Internet connections are through smartphones, with a limited range of functionality. Nigeria needs higher Internet speed connections for the more data–intensive services required by PCs, laptops and the growing tablet market.”[/blockquote]
As the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) prepares to auction the 2.6 GHz frequency spectrum, the telecoms regulator has beckoned investors to come and further unlock broadband market stakes in the country.
Broadband services providers can take advantage of the huge investment opportunities available in the Nigerian telecoms market, the regulator said citing that Nigeria’s predominantly young population presents a huge opportunity to investors.
According to the 2.6 GHz spectrum auction rules published by the NCC, Nigeria’s total population is estimated to be 173.6 million, being the largest in the Middle East and African region.
It has grown at an average rate of approximately 2.3% a year since 2001. Nigeria has a young population, with approximately 60% under the age of 20. The population is still growing, NCC told investors.
According to the telecoms industry umpire, the Nigerian telecoms market has experienced significant growth from paltry 400,000 subscribers in 2001 to over 133 million active subscribers as at August 2014.
In a similar vein, Nigeria currently has growing levels of PC penetration, Internet take-up and broadband adoption. The trend of Internet use in Nigeria shows an increase with the overall number of users rising from 1.4% of population in 2004 to about 47.8% by 2014 with broadband penetration at about 6.1% in 2013. Access to PC in Nigeria was estimated at 8.1 % of the population in 2013, the regulator cited.
Besides, a wide range of economic sectors in Nigeria requires higher speed Internet access. The government requires it to carry out a wide range of services, including the issuance of electronic national identity card, driving licenses, registration of companies, among many others, according to NCC.
Another potential driver of broadband uptake in Nigeria is the vast agricultural sector where there is potential need for Internet access to check market prices and find information about the latest farming practices.
In the commercial sector, the increased usage of Point of Sale (POS) terminals and electronic payment systems have increased the demand for high speed Internet access.
In the educational sector, there is a huge demand for the Internet to aid teaching, learning and research as well as improving the efficiency of our educational institutions.
According to the regulator, in the entertainment industry, high speed Internet is required to lift the constraint posed to online video streaming in Nigeria as a result of the lack of widespread broadband services.
“This is just a few of the instances where high speed Internet services are in demand in Nigeria. Several other instances abound”, NCC noted.
According to the telecoms umpire, most Internet connections are through smartphones, with a limited range of functionality. Nigeria needs higher Internet speed connections for the more data–intensive services required by PCs, laptops and the growing tablet market.