The Nigerian telecom industry is expected to see significant improvements in the next five years, according to Umar Garba Danbatta, Nigerian Communication (NCC) Chief Executive.
The CEO states that there will be mass deployments of 4G networks across Nigeria. Moreover, there is a plan to reduce the cost of mobile data steadily from the current rate of 800 Naira ($2.07) per gigabit to 390 Naira ($1.01), according to Developing Telecom.
Nigeria is dominated by four telecom operators. The regulator aims for a 70% penetration rate, connecting 90% of the population by 2025, states Danbatta.
On August 21, 2020, and during the first virtual edition of the Telecom Consumer Parliament (TCP), Danbatta discussed the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic in the telecom sector. “This is making telecommunications and indeed ICT the major driver of growth in every sector now”, he said.
Moreover, during the 4th phase of the virtual commissioning of additional 12 digital economy projects, Danbatta explained, “projects will eliminate poverty through skill development; and above all, we are creating a competitive and innovative economy through the promotion of the usage and deployment of various ICT applications and services in the economy,” according to Daily Post.
Ajibola Olude, Executive Secretary, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), insists that better telecommunication services will attract more investments, companies, industries, and several other facilities, according to Tech Point.
According to the NCC website, Nigeria’s broadband penetration has maintained growth in the past 20 months. Statistics show that Nigeria has maintained a steady broadband penetration of 42.12%, with a total subscription number of 80.2 million as of July 2020. Significant improvements in the telecom sector are crucial to close the digital divide in Nigeria. In fact, more than half of the Nigerian community has access to the internet. Many Nigerians were unable to access the internet due to extreme poverty.
Recently, and as part of the Nigerian Communications Commission, efforts to improve broadband services in the country, new permits were issued to 13 additional space stations to provide satellite services within the country’s territory.
The deployment of the 5G network will help boost Nigeria’s digital economy as well as drive smart city aspirations. Airtel Africa PLC Chief Executive Officer, Raghunath Mandava said that Nigeria is not fully ready to deploy 5G. However, the company is actively working to secure 5G connectivity.