Regulator keen on broadband services, backs satellite connectivity

By Adeyemi Adepetun |   18 February 2020   |   3:35 am  

The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), is upbeat on the country’s move towards the deployment of broadband facilities to boost Nigeria’s digital landscape.
  
While exploring every means, the Commission said it is also not ruling out broadband satellite services.
   
NCC stated this, when Viasat, a commercial satellite operator, visited the Commission in Abuja, yesterday, to give an update on its readiness to deploy satellite broadband services in Nigeria.

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The Director, Spectrum Administration at NCC, Augustine. Nwalunne, who received the Viasat team on behalf of the Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, disclosed that the operator came to discuss its plans to get regulatory supports for entry into Nigeria’s commercial satellite communications market in.
   
At the meeting, Viasat sought the Commission’s encouragement and approval to reserve and use the 28 GHz KA frequency band in the country, to provide cost-effective Internet connectivity and high throughput satellite connectivity through its incorporated Nigerian subsidiary, Viasat Nigeria.
 
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The company also informed the Commission of its plan to conduct a Proof of Concept (PoC) test in Abuja in 2020. Thereafter, Viasat plans to roll out in a community, and subsequently extend the services across a state and then proceed to extend its broadband satellite services nationwide by 2022.
  
He explained that the Viasat’s GTH satellite services are targeting homes, governments, schools as well as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), among others.
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The company expressed confidence that its services will be really beneficial to the unserved and underserved areas of Nigeria.
   
Viasat said it had, over the years, invested over $2.2 billion globally on geostationary satellite services, with footprint in the Nigerian space towards bridging the extant digital divide in the country.
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Originally a satellite operator, but now an operator and services provider, Viasat declared readiness to effectively provide cost-effective Internet connectivity via satellite and to provide high throughput satellite connectivity services in Nigeria.
   
Already, Nigeria Communications Satellite (NigComSat) broadband service connects customers in parts of Africa and Asia, providing multiple solutions to their communication needs, on the Ku-band, C-band and Ka-band platforms on NigComSat-1R.

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The NigComSat’s satellite broadband service can be deployed almost anywhere, in a very short time, especially for business continuity and connectivity in remote, hard to reach locations or temporary sites
   
The firm explained that its services are cost-effective, secure, with high-speed data and video Internet connections that are tailored for optimal delivery in communications, disaster recovery and security applications.
  
Nigeria currently has 72 million broadband penetrations or 37.8 per cent, whereas there are 126 million Nigerians connected to the Internet via the narrowband, the GSM technology.

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