By Abdulwaheed Olayinka Adubi
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta has said that Nigeria will achieve the 90% broadband coverage set in the National Broadband Plan (2020-2025) through the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders.
Danbatta disclosed this while delivering a keynote at a forum on Internet Governance for Development (IG4D)
Aside from covering 90% of the country’s population by 2025, the Plan also sets a speed target of a minimum of 25Mbps in urban areas, and 10Mbps in rural areas, at a price not more than N390 per 1GB of data (i.e., 2% of median income or 1% of minimum wage).
Danbatta says that while the telecoms regulator and the government would do everything to create an enabling and conducive environment, the telecom operators will have to continue investing in new infrastructures and capabilities, think more innovatively, identify and design novel business models and enrich their insights from other partners, regions, and industries.
According to him, “in order to achieve these ambitious targets, the plan is focused on 4 critical pillars, namely: Infrastructure, Policy, Funding, and incentives. Similarly, a National Policy on Fifth Generation (5G) Networks for Nigeria’s Digital Economy was developed to address the provision of the required Spectrum and the enabling environment to ensure full deployment of 5G technology to cover major urban areas by 2025 effectively, and to ensure the security of the 5G ecosystem as well as the protection of data amongst many others.”
“Regulators are to primarily develop regulatory framework and standards for the telecoms industry. They also come up with action plans and methods for implementation of Government policies through robust regulation to ensure a competitive market, environment-focused compliance monitoring, and enforcement mechanism, market-based Spectrum access mechanisms, Broadband facilitation, and Penetration, capacity development as well as strategic collaboration and partnership with relevant state and non-state actors.
“The regulators are also to collaborate and facilitate the exchange of similar ideas, views, and experiences amongst industry experts through appropriate avenues for regular participation in relevant Conferences, Fora, symposia, and Workshops.
“As for the operators, they must continue to invest in new infrastructures and capabilities, think more innovatively, identify and design novel business models and enrich their insights from other partners, regions, and industries. It is important that they integrate their next-generation networks to provide the flexibility required to foster growth and innovation in the mobile communications ecosystem.”
“As part of efforts to realize the objectives of the broadband plan, the NCC has also outlined a Strategic Vision Plan (SVP 2021-2025) to ensure the implementation of the government policy.”