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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

‘Poor electricity may stall digital revolution’

EXECUTIVE Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, has warned that poor electricity supply in the country may stall the digital revolution in the country.

According to him, based on the present state of electricity supply, the nation cannot attain its full potential in the digital revolution.

Ndukwe gave this caution while speaking in Lagos, recently, noting that growth of subscriber lines should also go side by side with improvement in the public electricity power supply situation in the country, stressing that it is the wireless deployment that has contributed to over 99 per cent of the new subscribers added to the telecommunications network since 2001.

"Unlike fixed wire-line systems, wireless systems require electricity to power the terminal equipment, and to work efficiently. Computers, Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) connectors, table top units, more telephone sets, base stations/cell sites, switching centres, microwave transmission stations and all the other Information and Communications Technology (ICT) equipment, infrastructure, systems and terminals must have good power supply to work well," he said.

Ndukwe said unless this vital source of energy is always available and reliable, the people may not be able to fully enjoy the benefits that the digital revolution offers especially in the remote and rural areas of the nation.

The EVC also said the NCC is now a model telecommunications regulatory institution in Africa and that in the past few years, it has played host to various representatives from African telecommunications regulatory authorities on study tours.

He said the commission’s intention is to continue to partner with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and other agencies in furthering the exchange of experience and expertise necessary for global best practices regulation in the region.

Dr. Ndukwe said the NCC facilitated the establishment of the West African Telecommunications Assembly (WATRA), which has continued to be active within the African Telecom Union (ATU) and ITU.

"With its current growth pattern and position in Africa, Nigeria through the NCC, remains committed to facilitating the growth of the nation’s telecommunications sector, and taking its leadership position in telecommunications development in Africa," he said.

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