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Monday, January 03, 2011

Olubiyi decries slow pace of 3G deployment

The chief executive officer, Geoidtel, an Internet Service Provider (ISP) based in Lagos, Mr. Olubiyi Ismail, has decried the slow pace of deployment the Third Generation (3G) in Nigeria’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) market.

Ismail who made his views known in Lagos at the weekend said that almost five years down the line after the initial licensing of most of the mobile communications networks to offer Third Generation (3G) services, Nigeria is yet to make 3G function at its best.

This, he said, would translate into effective use of the services and accompanied advantages adequately for the end-users.

He noted that when in 2006 the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) auctioned four 3G spectrum licenses to Globacom, MTN, then Vmobile, which is now Airtel as well as Alheri Engineering, expectations were high that Nigeria’s telecom landscape would receive a great boost.

“About five years after, not much has changed in Nigeria’s telecom sector,” he said.

3G, he said, is regarded as the next generation of mobile communications systems which
enhances services such as multimedia, high speed mobile broadband, internet access with the ability to view video footage on one’s mobile handset.

With a 3G phone and access to the 3G network one could make video calls, watch live TV, access the high speed internet, receive emails and download music tracks, as well as the usual voice call and messaging services found on a mobile phone, like person to person video, live streaming, downloadable video of entertainment, news, current affairs and sport content and video messaging.

“So why is 3G, which indeed has the semblance of triple play capabilities, not being utilised by the telecom operators in Nigeria,” he said.

The answer, according to him, is that operators are yet to be assured of steady revenue stream for their investment in 3G services.

“Indeed, some have chosen to partner advanced communications providers such as Cisco to help develop services such as tele- presence,” he said, wondering what would be tagged as successful deployment of triple play services in Nigeria.

This, he said, would be solely dependent on two factors, namely the capability of the company involved in its deployment and the creation of a conducive atmosphere for companies intending to offer triple play to thrive.

“Beyond theatrics, the next big thing in the Nigerian ICT landscape may well be triple play at the right cost to the people,” he said.

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