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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

‘NigComSAT-1R critical to access, connectivity’

The over 600 participants at the first Nigerian Communications Satellite (NigComSAT) Stakeholders’ conference, rose last weekend to declare that the replacement of the nation’s communication satellite (1R) is critical to access and connectivity for the growth of the country.

A communiqué made available to ITRealms Online at the end of the session at the weekend participants agreed that NigComSAT-1R communication satellite is critical to expanding access and improving connectivity.

They noted that since broadband access is still a challenge in the country, coupled with the fact that connectivity is largely lacking and over 50 per cent of broadband internet connections in Nigeria today are via satellite, it is imperative that the nation needs NigComSAT-1R to reclaim its positions.

Equally they observed that NigComSAT-1R satellite is an in–orbit delivery programme by China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC), which is a replacement for Nigcomsat-1 satellite de-orbited in November 2008.

This, participants stated in the communiqué, would provide a critical Information and Communication Technology (ICT) backbone infrastructure to drive the national ICT revolution by providing a cost effective solution and affordable access to meet the nation’s telecommunications, broadcast, aviation, maritime, defense, security and revenue diversification needs of the nation.

The conference recognised the fact that the NigComSat-1R satellite is a hybrid, high power, quad band geo-stationary satellite which inherits almost all the design features of NigComSat-1 with a few modifications on the payload aimed at addressing domestic and international market needs.

“It uses the Chinese DFH-4 Platform, has a launch Mass of 5,150Kg and will use the Chinese LM-3B/E Launch Vehicle when it launches in December, 2011 to the same 42.5°E orbital location that was occupied by NigComSat-1. It is expected to have a service life of 15years,” part of the communiqué read.

According to participants, NigComSAT-1R has a communications payload of 28 active and 12 redundant transponders making for a total of 40 in the C, Ku and Ka bands.

“It will provide services which include Digital TV broadcasting, direct-to-home broadcasting and public safety cum emergency communications trunking services among others,” they stated.

They pointed out that Nigeria’s teledensity is currently at over 63 per cent with about 90.5 million active subscribers which has brought basic communications services to over 90 per cent of the people in Nigeria who now heavily depend on communications facilities for daily business and social interactions.

Additionally, participants noted that there is little future in last mile wireline infrastructures as deployments based on wire-line infrastructure for rural and dispersed communities would be very difficult to achieve and investments would be exceedingly costly and largely unaffordable.

“Nigeria can improve its connectivity access by taking advantage of major advancements in the wireless technologies such as broadband satellite from NigComSAT-1R and new generation mobile systems for last mile deployments,” part of the communiqué stated.

Just as they observed that cloud computing is a paradigm shift influenced by the change from Mainframe to Client-Server in the early 1980s, which largely described a new roadmap for user needs, consumption, and delivery model for Information Technology (IT) services based on the Internet or Inter-cloud model or technology service brand.

Nigeria, the participants agreed, urgently requires a broadband policy and a consensus on the way to achieve universal access for broadband services to improve its position in the global ICT league table.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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