‘80% of Nigeria’s telecoms infrastructure run on wireless technology’

NCC Boss, Umar Garba Danbatta

Eighty per cent of telecommunications infrastructures in the country currently run on wireless (3G). This was disclosed by the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, while fielding questions from the audience at the telecoms conference in South Korea.

Danbatta admitted that the sector is still grossly underserved with infrastructure going by number of communities that still lacked access to basic telephone services.

Indeed, despite the about 230 million connected telephone lines with over 135 million lines active, and 90 per cent teledensity, some 200 communities, which houses about 40 million Nigerians do not access to any telecommunications services. They were discovered by the NCC in 2016.

To bridge this gap, Danbatta hinted that the Commission has encouraged infrastructure sharing among the operators, saying: “more than 40 per cent of 3G sites should be convertible to ensure successful migration to 4G. Infrastructure sharing is encouraged in the sector to fast track our development as a country.”

The NCC EVC reiterated that Nigeria is seriously looking for more investment into the telecoms industry, which currently stands at $70billion, most of which are Foreign Direct Investments. “We are looking for more investments. NCC has provided subsidies in infrastructure deployment agreement.”

Meanwhile, in a move towards enthroning a broadband regime, the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), has called on policymakers across the globe to kick efforts into high gear, more than ever before to embrace a comprehensive approach to broadband.
Such a policy should be grounded in an ambitious affordability target that includes bold measures to promote competition by lowering broadband costs, and is dedicated to investing in public access solutions.

“Smart policies coupled with effective implementation and regular monitoring and evaluation progress made toward established targets can provide a path to connecting the next billions,” it stated.

The Alliance urged national leaders, policymakers, private sector players, civil society, citizens, academia and researchers, and international organisations involved in the ICT sector, to join forces and partner to advocate, support, and implement policies aimed at connecting the most marginalised.

“By investing in public access supported by a cohesive approach to lowering broadband costs, we can collectively make significant improvements to connect many faster and in more meaningful ways. Only then can all citizens, regardless of gender, socio-economic status or geographic location, fully realise the benefits of affordable access to the Internet,” the Alliance stated.



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