Monday, December 08, 2014

Nigeria beckons broadband investors with incentives, insist on open access model

DigitalSENSE Business News:

With over 134 million subscriber base across several operators, the Federal Government of Nigeria beckon on broadband investors, and  reiterated its resolve towards achieving an all-inclusive telecommunications to every part of the country, reports DigitalSENSE Business News.

Communication Technology Minister, Dr. (Mrs) Omobola Johnson told participants telecoms’ investors, friends of Nigeria and the global Information and Communication Technology community yesterday in Doha, Qatar, that the theme of  ITU Telecom World 2014,The Future in Focus, resonate, with the vision of the Nigerian Government as we work to build  a better and brighter future for our youthful population especially using ICT.

The Minister who spoke at the Nigerian sponsored Leaders Lunch, at the Qatar National Convention Centre, venue of the ITU yearly event, told the audience that in the last three and a half years since the creation of her Ministry, Nigeria as been putting in place key policies and initiatives that set the foundation for the widespread use of ICTs by government, businesses and by citizens to further their progress.

And we are seeing the impact of our efforts in the continued growth of the sector in Nigeria ,its contribution to GDP and in the contribution of ICTs the efficiency of other sectors of the country.
In his welcome address, Executive Vice Chairman, of the Nigerian Communications
Commission, NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, said he was particularly excited that the audience made out time to be at the Leaders Lunch which presents us opportunity to interact with you and update our stories and share our experiences.
According to Juwah, we will ruminate on our ICT potentials and opportunities as a nation, which we believe you may have influenced in one way or the other as opinion leaders in the industry.
The NCC boss said Nigeria being the most populous nation in Africa with over 170 million  people and having made gait strides in ICT development,it is obvious that a lot must be happening in our industry.
He said top on Nigeria’s desk today is broadband availability and usage.Hence Nigeria,s theme in this conference: Broadband Nigeria, Enabling Access,Transforming Communities.
He said President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has graciously approved an inclusive national implementation plan for effective nationwide pervasive broadband deployment.
According to Juwah,from the regulatory perspective, NCC has entrenched the Open Access Model,which allows for inclusive,fair and transparent licensing processes as well as incentives for investors in the industry.

He said NCC has tested the Open Access Model and it is workable in Nigeria.
In February 2014,we successfully issued a wireless broadband licence for the 2.3 Gigerhertz frequency spectrum band.

Regional fibre optics infrastructure deployment licence is currently being finalized for Lagos and the North Central region including Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. After that, the other five regions will follow hereby creating huge investment opportunities for both current and new investors, and both small and big ones.

He said although over 75millon people have access to the internet, they currently browse on the narrow band and with our current maturity on the voice segment, the data market remains untapped.
Juwah told his audience including the outgoing Secretary General of the ITU,Dr.Hamadoun Toure  that a lot more potentials and opportunities exist in the financial sector where banks are yawning for broadband services to enable their indispensable data services requirements.The Education sector toohas huge demand for broadband dataapplications and so do government agencies. The potentials are simply enormous, Juwah advised.

Earlier   a  spectacular Opening Ceremony at the Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha brought together a glittering line-up of high-level participants, including (in speaking order):
•Chairman of the Board of Directors, Ooredoo Group, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani,

Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani, Chairman of the Board of Directors Ooredoo Group took the opportunity to highlight the need for partnership and collaboration between the world’s key players, saying, “Amongst us are many of the world’s largest technology companies. We are joined by many high ranking government representatives, policy shapers, from across the region and the world, as well as a new generation of entrepreneurs and app-developers. Feel our power, our combined experience and know how.  Together we can make the future happen sooner.”

“We are extremely proud to host a great number of telco corporations as an important hub,” said H.E. Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Prime Minister of Qatar in his Opening Ceremony address. “To meet here and to debate is an opportunity to exchange ideas about new opportunities which can contribute to changing and transforming the world.”

“With the increasing interconnectivity between sectors, no one can work alone, as in the past,” said Dr Hessa Al Jaber, Minister of Information and Communications Technology (ictQATAR). “We must work together to help bring these technologies to the rest of the world.”

Highlighting the tremendous potential of technology as a tool for improving lives, ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. TourĂ© noted in his opening address: “Never before in human history have so many developments in technology, in science and business come together with such tremendous potential to improve the lives of people everywhere. Never before have the challenges of ensuring that the changes happening are fair, equitable and ethical been so considerable.”

Organized by ITU, the United Nations Specialized Agency for ICTs, the event is hosted by the Government of Qatar, with the support of leading international communications company, Ooredoo.

The opening ceremony marked the beginning of an action packed few days of high-level debate, networking and knowledge-sharing, with the Leadership Summit on the future launching the debate in the afternoon of 7 December.

The Forum will bring together the industry’s leading names who will explore three major scenarios of disruption, cross-sector partnerships and the intelligent future. Sessions will take a variety of formats from panel sessions, keynotes and high-level debates to global media-moderated Big Conversations.

The show floor highlights technologies and investment opportunities through the presence of National and Thematic Pavilions and Industry Showcases. Top global players include Alcatel Lucent, Huawei, Intel, LS Telcom, Nokia, Ooredoo and ZTE, along with countries from across the world such as Argentina, Azerbaijan, China, Nigeria and the Smart Africa Zone (Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan and Rwanda).

Innovation will be a core component of the event. The Innovation Space will host the Lab, featuring state-of-the-art demos and technological, social and design innovations. The show floor is also home to the Young Innovators Competition finalists, young social entrepreneurs between ages 18 and 30 from around the world with innovative digital solutions with positive social impact

+Remmy Nweke @Sonny
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