Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ayonote predicts 70% Internet growth

Chief Executive Officer, Suburban Telecom, Mr. Bruce Ayonote, has predicted that in the next three years, Internet penetration would grow globally by 70 per cent per year with broadband penetration also projected at 75 per cent.

Speaking at the Internet Service Provider (ISP) forum in Lagos, organized by Suburban in collaboration with Cisco, Mr. Ayonote said that international capacity utilization would increase to 2.5 Gigabits in the next three years, while network availability is expected to reach 99.99 per cent.

He said that the essence of the forum was to collectively review the development in the Internet market, and to motivate the Internet Service Providers (ISP) in the country and provide the selection of services and products that their customers demand.

These services and products, he said, were not available before because the internet structure was inadequate.

“The new thing is that the infrastructure has been upgraded or is available. And we believe that the market will respond to that in excitement because that means Nigeria is now on internet,” he said.

Nigeria, he stressed, could now do whatever people are doing or people do positively on the internet globally.

Suburban, Ayonote said, is a major client as a wholesaler of bandwidth offering services to both telecom companies and core ISPs.

He enjoined stakeholders in the nation’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to join forces in taking the internet penetration to the expected level.

“Let us stop thinking like inside the box. Since our minds and brains are working, which are our major resources, let us use those two to take this market to the next level,” he urged.

Emphasizing that when there are open minds among stakeholders, there would be less dreadful competition and the industry would simply continue to grow.

“Yes, the problem of the issue lies in the competition. It depends, if you know the man is open minded and you know that competition might not be the best solution, collaboration might be. Then you go for that option,” he said.

He, therefore, encouraged collaboration in every form that will increase services to customers.

Suburban, he said, has taken major steps to address the supply of internet bandwidth, which is the primary bottleneck affecting the penetration of internet services in the country.

He pointed out that by making available a 10 Gigabit connection into the global internet backbone, and conceptualized the ISP forum, Suburban in collaboration with Cisco intended to open further dialogue on how additional solutions could be created to address other issues.

Equally speaking, the Director Services Provider Sales for the Emerging Africa at Cisco, Mr. Allstair MacLennan, while dwelling on the ISP and Next Generation Networks (NGN), noted that the role of the Internet in the life of a Nigerian has changed for the better.

“It used to be a luxury and has now become a necessity,” he said, stressing that it has become a major business and educational tool.

“People are addicted … evident in growth of multimedia and infotainment content have shown,” he said.

According to him, end user access remains a challenge, “… but has come a long way from dialup to Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) and now Wireless Microwave (WiMax), Third Generation (3G) and Evolution Data Only (EVDO).”

Thus, it has become a huge responsibility for service providers to manage, in spite of environmental challenges.

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