" ITREALMS: Stakeholders root for broadband deployment

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Stakeholders root for broadband deployment

Participants at the just concluded one-day Stakeholders forum in Lagos have declared support for the deployment of broadband in the country.

Speakers at the event included the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, Executive Commissioner, Engineering and Standards at NCC, Mr. Stephen Bello, Afolabi Oni of PPC Limited and Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin among others, agreed that Nigeria should take advantage of this technology to advance penetration of ICT.

In his remark, Dr. Ndukwe reiterated the resolve of NCC to foster Information and Communication Technology (ICT) services through broadband deployment, hence the commission declared 2007 as “year of broadband for Nigeria.”

He said that NCC is determined to live up to this dream, stressing that “we intend to make Nigeria the best, if not in the world but in Africa in the deployment and usage of broadband.”

Dr. Ndukwe noted that the recent award of Third Generation (3G) licenses to four entities in the country is a testimony of NCC decision to boost both the fixed and mobile as well as nomadic networks.

Mr. Bello in his paper, “Frequency Resource and Technical Guidelines for Broadband Service Roll out in Nigeria,” said that why the commission choose to focus on broadband deployment was because it enriches user experience and in commercial applications such as banking, broadband enables transaction to take place faster, thereby allowing more clients to be served in a given time.

“This, ultimately translates into higher turnover and profit,” he said, stressing that in telemedicine, Internet shopping or electronic education (e-edu), broadband facilitates the transmission of high quality pictures.

He went on to define broadband as a communication system that has the capacity to convey high quality video, data and sound signal.

“It is a communications system whose bandwidth allows it to transmit signals in excess of 1 mega bits (MB) per second,” he said, adding that from a user’s experience, a broadband network enables Internet download of music or large files in seconds rather than in minutes or hours as in the case of dial-up or shared bandwidth networks.

Mr. Bello also said that NCC core policies regarding deployment of broadband, entails that its technology and service should be neutral, while ensuring spectrum efficiency.

Thus, he said, operators are free to deploy any efficient technology for their services, emphasising that unified licensing which is currently existing in the country, avails voice, video, broadcast, telecom-multicasting could be deployed as the operator deem fit to meet market demand.

Mr. Bello further said that in order to ensure spectrum efficiency NCC allows for some mixture of license-free spectrum while shared and exclusive spectrum would be made available for broadband roll out, just as it would be flexible in quality of service.

For the Director General of the National Action Committee on Aids (NACA), Prof. Osotimehin, it is time for ICT professionals to come on board of the NACA campaign to drastically reduce the number of aids victim in the country, whereas increasing the awareness level, mostly now that Nigerians are finding their ways into the mainstream of ICT.

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