Telecoms council targets sector’s growth
THE newly inaugurated Telecoms Advisory Council has pledged its readiness to help grow the telecommunications sector by ensuring access and improved data communication becomes a priority for economic development.
The 49-member council, which falls under different categories of statutory members, non-statutory individuals and non-statutory corporates, was inaugurated at the 21st anniversary of the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) in Lagos.
During the inauguration, ATCON President, Lanre Ajayi, encouraged the council members to use their good office as members of the council to further drive development in the telecommunications industry, cum the economy, while ensuring that the sector maintains its achievements in the last decade.
Pleased with the selection of members for the Telecoms Advisory Council, one of its members, the Chief Executive Officer of VDT Communications, Biodun Omoniyi, said the council would dwell more on industry growth, having achieved so much in the telecommunications sector, since the advent of Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) in 2001.
“I feel well honored to be a member of the Telecoms Advisory Council and advisory is more like a think-tank group that offer executive advice based on experience that will continue to shape the telecoms industry. The crop of people that made this advisory committee are those with wealth of experiences and are dedicated to moving the industry forward. It is a mixed crop of who is who in the telecoms industry,” Omoniyi said.
He explained that data is driving virtually everything and that data is playing a great role across globe, which the council will combine with other infrastructure that the data rides on, to further drive the industry.
Looking at the challenges of the telecoms industry, Omoniyi said: “There are several challenges in the telecoms sector and there are no limitations to the area the Council could look into. Having said that, I believe the issue of regulation in the sector is a major challenge that the council would want to address. Globally, regulation in the telecoms space is changing and for us as Telecoms Advisory Council members, it is important that we critically look at the telecoms regulation and offer advice to the telecoms regulator on what we think they need to focus on in terms of policies and regulations in the telecoms industry.
“For example, data communication is emerging and there is need for the regulator to consider policies and regulations that will not stifle its growth in Nigeria. These are some of the key areas the committee will be looking at, Omoniyi said.
He added that with data experts like the Chief Executive Officer of MainOne, Funke Opeke, who is a member of council, and whose business is to bring in broadband data capacity to Nigeria, the Council would be in a better position to advise on data regulation for the country in such a way that the policies and regulation would further drive the growth of data communication in the country.
“Telecoms growth in Nigeria is quite fantastic, and telecoms have become a lifestyle among Nigerians. So moving from voice to data communication is just reflecting the new life style that the world over is moving towards. Data is an area of new growth for the telecoms industry and the regulator and the government must do everything possible to promote the expected growth. People are interested in this new area of growth in the industry and the Council will help facilitate it”, Omoniyi said.