The Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Eugene Juwah, took advantage of the just concluded Mobile World Congress (MWC 2014) in Barcelona, Spain to showcase the broadband potentials in Nigeria, reports ITRealms.
Addressing the crème de la crème of the global telecom stakeholders at the session on Ministerial Programme in Barcelona, ITRealms gathered that Dr. Juwah x-rayed the potentials of Nigeria’s broadband programme.
ITRealms recalls that the Ministerial Programme session of the MWC in Barcelona, is seen as a rare privileged event where decisions makers, ministers, investors, service providers, global mobile providers among other top industry players share insights.
At this year’s programme, a session was dedicated to Nigeria and Dr. Juwah seized the opportunity to make a profound presentation to the world about what to expect in Nigeria, which is at the threshold of unleashing a broadband revolution that will impact the Nigerian nation and the African continent.
He told the audience that Nigeria is fast-tracking her knowledge economy and contributions of broadband to GDP growth will increase considerably.
“We have successfully completed the auction of the 2.3GHz Spectrum and we have outlined a number of programmes under the broadband infrastructure framework while licensing of infrastructure providers, tagged Infracos is about to begin,” he said
Equally, Dr. Juwah said that his commission has a mouthwatering offer for investors in the Nigerian broadband infrastructure deployment programme using the Open Access Broadband strategy with the planned licensing of InfraCos that will provide a national broadband network on a non-discriminatory, open access and price regulated basis to all service providers.
NCC, he maintained is creating enabling environment and incentives for the private sector to roll out broadband networks which will be a one-off incentive for last mile to be achieved.
“We will replicate the success we made in voice in broadband plan as we proceed on the journey. We are also going to license more retail services and encourage the operators where possible to extend fibre to homes and businesses on their own. Government is committed to providing incentives to winners of infrastructure licenses,” he said.
The InfraCo, according to him, would enjoy government support, hence would be getting funding from government to rollout nationwide broadband infrastructure.
“We are ready to provide subsidy to simplify entry. However, such a subsidy will come on the basis of milestones achieved to ensure that we are realistic in the venture,” he said.
Juwah recollected that the historical revolution of the voice communications in Nigeria, the nation will witness a boom the broadband segment of the business as NCC propelled in the voice segment. Stressing that for Nigeria to be part of the 21st century knowledge economy, there is need to leverage on the potentials of broadband.
“We have done quite well in the voice segment, but taking a look at the data segment, our internet penetration rate currently is 32.9 per cent, our broadband penetration rate is 6.1 per cent, taking it to a higher speed broadband, this 6.1 per cent will disappear,” he explained.