Techeconomy.ng has started a “Broadband RoundTable” Thought Leadership Series; an all-inclusive opportunity for the telecoms Subscribers/Consumer, Service Providers, Investors, and the Regulator to bare their minds with regards broadband infrastructure deployment in the country.
Enextgen Wireless is also supporting the Thought Leadership Series which is open to telecom industry stakeholder to make factual submissions (thought leadership piece) aimed at proffering solutions to identified challenges in the industry.
Speaking on the rationale behind the initiative, the Editor of TechEconomy.ng, Peter Oluka, said that broadband infrastructure is no longer a “nice-to-have” amenity for Nigerian cities rather an essential need.
Broadband access and adoption, he said, will help promote economic development and social equity while enabling public health (telemedicine), public safety (like smart transport), educational opportunities for Nigerians around the country, among other enormous gains.
In his words: “Talking about infrastructure, 5G telecommunications technology is coming (almost here) and will change the landscape.
The 5G (Fifth generation) wireless is the next mobile technology standard, based on the 3GPP Release 15 mobile wireless networking standard, that will be succeeding the current 4G/LTE technology.
5G is already being deployed in countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, China, etc. Its large-scale deployment is expected to start in 2020.
“By 2021, the number of 5G connections is forecast to reach a figure of between 20 million and 100 million. Some estimates put the figure at 200 million. Spending on 5G mobile infrastructure for that same year is forecast to be at around 2.3 billion U.S. dollars.
“5G technology and related interoperability, government, access and security standards are all in a process of development across geographies, companies and standard-setting bodies.
“Presently, in Nigeria, the telcos are faced with multifaceted challenges as they deploy 4G! The government through the industry regulator – Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has introduced a number of initiatives to ensure the all-important infrastructure is deployed, but the challenges keep increasing.
So, we would like a situation where the regulator and the operators present the cases to the public who will in-turn suggest how best to get these things done. Technological development is not waiting for us.
“We have read about cases where States and LGAs are making life miserable for these operators. What can be done?”
“The Regulator – Nigerian Communications Commission has received a lot of accolades for her interventional role to ensure some of these issues are removed for smooth deployment of services.
In fact, NCC has developed some policy interventions to the speedy deployment of services especially in the rural areas through the USPFund, InfraCo model, meetings with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, State Visits, Stakeholders engagement, etc.
But, how long will it take to solve the problems? Will 4G ever be deployed across Nigeria? Why would the ‘Government’ grant NCC the powers to regulate the sector and at the same time, subtly challenge her authority over some jurisdictions like we have seen cases where sister agencies tend to usurp NCC’s authorities? What is the way forward?
“So, ‘Broadband RoundTable’ will be issue-based and everybody is welcome for constructive engagement’, Oluka added.
Speaking on why Enextgen Wireless is supporting the Thought Leadership Series, the CEO, Engineer Remi Adeyeye, said, “The issues are numerous. The Operators are nearly paying with their blood to keep the Cell Sites up and running.
“On the other hand, what is the quality of the service (QoS) of the already deployed services? The consumer wants to know!
“So, we believe that ‘Broadband RoundTable’ will be one of its kind, because everybody would have a say in a respectful manner’ and let’s have a common ground to agree and move this sector forward”.
You can read more on broadband penetration as discussed by the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) here.