Nige­ria Will At­tain 30% Broad­band Pen­e­tra­tion By 2018, NCC In­sists

THISDAY - - BUSINESS WORLD NEWS - Ugo Ali­ogo

As part of ef­forts of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to pro­vide af­ford­able broad­band in­fra­struc­ture and ser­vices in Nige­ria, the Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Chair­man, Nige­ria Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mis­sion (NCC), Prof. Umar Dan­batta, has ex­pressed the de­sire of the com­mis­sion to en­sure that the coun­try at­tains 30 per cent broad­band pen­e­tra­tion be­fore the end of 2018.

Dan­batta, who dis­closed in La­gos dur­ing the 10th an­niver­sary lec­ture and awards of Busi­ness Jour­nal with the theme: “In­fra­struc­ture and Eco­nomic Growth: Ex­plor­ing the Strate­gic Al­liance,” stated that as at March, the coun­try’s broad­band pen­e­tra­tion was es­ti­mated at 22 per cent, adding that most of the ac­cess was through wire­less broad­band.

He also noted that as part of the ini­tia­tive to achieve the Na­tional Broad­band Plan (NBP) tar­get for broad­band pen­e­tra­tion, the com­mis­sion had li­cenced and auc­tioned fre­quency spec­trum to some new and ex­ist­ing li­censees.

Some of the firms in­clude Bit­flux Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Lim­ited (Bit­flux), MTN Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Lim­ited, In­ter­cel­lu­lar Nige­ria Lim­ited among oth­ers.

Dan­batta ex­plained that the Mo­bile Net­work Op­er­a­tors (MNOs) have de­ployed about 52,000 kilo­me­tres of fiber op­tic ca­bles as at April 2018.

Dan­batta who was rep­re­sented at the event by the As­sis­tant Direc­tor, Tech­ni­cal Stan­dards, NCC, Edoyemi Ogo, stated that there are about 33,000 2G, 29,000 3G and 4000 LTE sites de­ployed as at April 2018.

He added that five in­ter­na­tional sub­ma­rine ca­ble and land­ing sta­tion ser­vices op­er­a­tors have landed ca­bles in the coun­try.

The NCC boss noted that to en­sure the con­tin­u­ous roll­out of req­ui­site in­fra­struc­ture, 12 metropoli­tan fi­bre ca­ble net­work com­pa­nies and 12 na­tional long dis­tance op­er­a­tors had also been li­cenced.

Dan­batta fur­ther said there was need to ex­pe­dite the roll­out of the fi­bre op­tic in­fra­struc­ture across the coun­try, adding that the com­mis­sion had ex­am­ined the open ac­cess model as the model for op­tic fiber trans­mis­sion net­work de­ploy­ment to bridge the cur­rent gap and de­liver fast and re­li­able broad­band ser­vices to house­holds and busi­nesses.

Ac­cord­ing to him, “To drive the process for the de­liv­ery of fast and re­li­able broad­band ser­vices across the coun­try, the com­mis­sion es­tab­lished a Broad­band Im­ple­men­ta­tion and Mon­i­tor­ing Com­mit­tee (BIMC).

“This com­mit­tee is charged to drive the broad­band in­fra­struc­ture li­cenc­ing and de­ploy­ment us­ing the open ac­cess model.

“Fur­ther­more, the com­mis­sion, through the Univer­sal Ser­vice Pro­vi­sion Fund (USPF), is implementing the fol­low­ing ac­cess and con­nec­tiv­ity programmes for the un­der­served and un-served ar­eas across the coun­try which in­clude: BTRAIN-Back­bone Trans­mis­sion In­fra­struc­ture of over 3,250km of fiber across six geo-po­lit­i­cal zones-Base Transceiver Sta­tions (BTS) :155 BTS sites.

“On com­ple­tion, the BTS will pro­vide voice and data ser­vices pop­u­la­tions in 930 com­mu­ni­ties. Other ini­tia­tives in­clude ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions knowl­edge cen­tres at 73 school lo­ca­tions; in­for­ma­tion re­source cen­tres at 73 li­brary lo­ca­tions, e-ac­ces­si­bil­ity project at 14 lo­ca­tions across the geo-po­lit­i­cal zones, e-health project, at 13 Gen­eral Hos­pi­tals across the six geo-po­lit­i­cal zones, school knowl­edge cen­tres at 1,324 schools in all the 36 states and the Fed­eral Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory (FCT),” Dan­batta said.

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