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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Experts agitate for NigComSAT 2, 3

In response to the recent revelation that the Nigerian Communications Satellite (NigComSat-1) is irreparable, experts in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector are agitating for the commencement of actions towards the launch of the NigComSAT 2 and 3 within the best possible time.

ITRealms Online recollects that NigComSat-1 service experienced impromptu disruption on November 10, 2008 and the government said it was merely parked for repairs as its battery could not recharge.

Some of those who commented on the issue include the Senior Engineering Manager at Philips Place, Lagos, Mr. Patrick Edeh, telecom analyst, Mr. Shola Taylor, chief executive officer (CEO) of Emperion West Africa, Sansdeep Jayaswal and a Lagos-based technology analyst and promoter of rural telephony in eastern Nigeria, Mr. Pius Ikedife.

For Mr. Edeh, government must not waste time in launching these satellites, because, as a country, Nigeria has made powerful statements with the launch of NigComSat-1 as the first black country to have a footprint in space.

“Despite the negative criticisms from a lot of western interests and their cohorts here in Africa, but the fact that NigComSat-1 changed the entire market thinking about bandwidth pricing before its technical problems proved that this is a road we must take,” he said.

Telecommunications analysts, Mr. Shola Taylor said that Nigeria must see this hiccup of NigComSAT-1 as a challenge that is surmountable.

“We must see this as a challenge. The satellite industry is a high risk sector but it offers immense benefits for any nation that veers into it. The manpower skill acquisition and infrastructure and possibility of socio-economic improvements are tremendous,” he said.

According to him, every serious country wants to have a stake in the satellite industry and Nigerian government deserves commendation for getting into it.

On his part, Mr. Ikedife noted that there is a lot of misconceptions out there about the satellite industry which tend to portray Nigeria’s entry as a disastrous one.

“More than 30 satellites have developed different levels of serious errors in the last 24 months built by the best hands in Europe and United States (US). But people don’t make fuss over this. You simply track down the problems, make amends and move on with newer investment that is ultimately justifiable,” he said.

Ikedife also said that the lesson in this current challenge for Nigeria is that it must remain up there in orbits with not one satellite but several.

“If we must sustain the radical changes we have initiated in the African satellite space,” he said.

For Mr. Jayaswal of Emperion, this incident is unfortunate, expressing the hope that it would be successfully addressed with more of Nigerian communication satellites in space very soon.

“With NigComSat-1, we at Emperion were able to leverage on the lower cost of high quality service to have competitive advantage over others,” he said.

Additionally, he said NigComSat-1 offered a rare window of bringing premium services to the market that foreign satellite companies could not have offered.


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