Nigeria Broadband penetration
By Benjamin ameh
There is prediction of a sharp increase in Nigeria broadband penetration in 2017 by the rollout of LTE technology and NITRA.
In a separate report, MTN Nigeria and the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA) have predicted a sharp rise in broadband penetration by 2017, according to thisday report.
In that report, NITRA says Nigeria is struggling to grow its broadband penetration from 6 per cent in 2013, to 8 per cent in 2014 and to 10 per cent in 2015, even though the National Broadband Plan is targeting 30 per cent penetration growth in 2018.
The association however said there would likely be a sharp increase in broadband penetration in the country by 2017, should stakeholders and government, further drive the broadband implementation process.
While, MTN predicted a sharp increase in broadband penetration by 2017, said the rollout of LTE technology would help to drive deeper broadband penetration, beginning from 2017.
Senior Manager, Transmission Access Planning Network Group at MTN, Olusegun Salam said the massive rollout of LTE broadband technology, coupled with the increased rollout of smartphones at affordable rates, would further drive broadband penetration in the country, beginning from 2017.
According to Salami, the actual journey of broadband penetration started in 2007, with the launch of the third generation technology called the 3G, which he said, put an end to the narrowband service being provided through the 2G networks
Broadband, Key to Nigeria’s Growth
Nigeria with a population of 170 million and over 110 million mobile subscribers, but low on broadband penetration has been advised to develop the sector as it holds the key economic growth in the next decade.
In a report dated back to 2012 credited to Steven Evans, CEO, Etisalat Nigeria by Nigeria CommunicationsWeek who made the submission in Lagos as then that current usage of broadband was too low. Evan noted then that recent studies show broadband as a catalyst for economic growth and development. “Studies in developed nations with advanced broadband services have repeatedly established that broadband networks drive economic growth and development. They provide a platform for addressing social issues like health-care and education,” said Evans. He stated that among developing nations, broadband usage was abysmally low. Only 1 per cent of worldwide Broadband users are in developing countries.
The Etisalat boss noted that Nigeria has a bigger potential to reap big in the sector if resources are effectively harnessed. He said “there is great potential in Broadband yet to be fully exploited in Nigeria.”
Evans noted that with adequate penetration, broadband provide an “avenue/platform to diversify revenue streams for telcos, equipment manufacturers and downstream sector.” It would also enhanced variety of product offerings for consumers to choose from; such as mobile applications, web content development and government developed domain-related local content.
He figured that in “low and middle income countries, every 10 per cent increase in broadband penetration accelerate GDP growth by up to 1.38 percentage points” adding that Nigeria which already has a target growth of ICT contributing about 6 per cent to its national GDP by 2015 could even get it better if the potentials in broadband are effectively harnessed.
“By 2015, wireless broadband services could contribute up to 1.22 per cent or N862 billion to Nigeria’s GDP, with the right policies in place,” said Evans.
And the potential impact to the overall economic growth are immerse. It would lead to increase efficiency of workforce and improve access to distant customers-suppliers, as well as improve access to critical information.
Broadband impact on the agricultural sector would culminate in reduce cost interactions between spatially dispersed market participants; provide real-time access to relevant information and facilitate access to current weather and pricing information. As already seen in other emerging economies like Brazil and India, Nigeria’s healthcare and Social service sector would benefit. There would also be improved mobile financial services; as e-government.