Wood projects fresh $25 billion investments for Nigeria’s fibre coverage

mtnGroup plans forum on broadband development
PIONEER Chief Executive Officer, MTN Nigeria, Adrian Wood, is of the view that to get the country fully prepared for the next phase of telecommunications revolution, which is having ubiquitous broadband, Nigeria will require fresh $25 billion investments.
Wood, at a post event interview in Lagos, posited that in the next three years Nigeria should focus on penetrating broadband, which he said essentially means laying of inland fiber cables.
According to the former MTN chief, if it took about $25 billion to get good mobile connectivity across the country, it also means that Nigeria will need fresh $25 billion to get broadband technology available for users.
“So if it is going to take $25 billion to get good coverage of mobile connectivity, then it will take another $25 billion to get good fibre coverage in Nigeria. Going by the 774 local government areas in Nigeria, it then means fibre must cover all the cities, towns and villages in the all the 774 local government areas of Nigeria and that is massive investment for investors so have foresight about broadband business.
“If all the local government areas are fully covered with broadband cable, it will give broadband access to every school, hospitals, business centres, organisations, and to every community”, he stated.
Wood said today broadband access is concentrated in cities like Lagos, Ibadan and little in Abuja and Port Harcourt, “so we really do not have enough broadband access in Nigeria, which is huge opportunity for investors. Broadband is essential for job creation, industry development and for national development.
So I am a great advocate of investing in Nigeria in the area of broadband.”
Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the yearly Africa Digital Forum and Awards, Tayo Adewusi, has urged managers of the nation’s economy to pay priority attention to the delivery of broadband technology, as this would catalyse Nigeria’s economy.
Speaking ahead of the yearly forum, scheduled for November 29, in Lagos, with the theme: “Broadband: Catalyst for Tommorow’s Economy Today’, Adewusi said: “Its power to transform and catalyse economies and social growth cannot be overemphasised. Broadband is an essential tool for empowering people, create an environment that nurtures the technological and service innovation and trigger positive change in business processes.”
Defined as the technology that enables high-speed transfer of data, according to him, broadband is linked to the emergence of the Internet. Broadband is at the heart of the economy and covers support services, electronic billing, Wi-Fi, electronic monitoring, inventory management and web security. Other areas are device configuration, project management, e-ticketing and installation.
Adewusi explained that an increase in the adoption of broadband in the country would drive and support several services and applications in the economy. “But the broadband needs to be affordable for users”, he said.
He averred that the availability of broadband infrastructure and broadband-enabled applications would assist ICT regulators, policy-makers and stakeholders in the ecosystem to ensure the technology play a vital role in Nigeria’s economy beyond the 21st century. ITU has expressed the need for developing economies to focus on the provision of affordable broadband services.

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