…says over 282 Base Stations bombed down
Airtel Nigeria has blamed its poor quality of telecoms service in the country on fibre cuts and insurgents activities, most especially in the North-East region of Nigeria.
Over 282 of its base stations, according to the telecommunications provider has been burnt down.
Speaking on this, the Vice President Network Operations, Airtel, Dr. Adedoyin Adeola lamented that telecoms installations across the country are repeatedly vandalized, stolen, bombed and destroyed with reckless abandon, creating myriad of problems for the network operators as well as the telecommunication consumers such as huge revenue loss and poor quality of telecoms service in the region respectively.
According to him, while efforts were made to re-build 65 out of the 282 bombed facilities, 22 of the rebuilt sites have been bombed again.
Narrating the frustrations of the telecoms business in the face of multiple threats of insecurity, vandalism, theft, among others, he said the problem of poor quality of service and rising spate of drop calls would continue until the government addresses the challenges.
“Telecoms operators are plagued with so many problems ranging from security issues to illegal signal boosters. While a network provider is working hard to restore a fibre cut due to vandalism or activities of road construction workers, it also has to deal with illegal signal boosters, which interfere with network quality and operated by unlicensed operators.
“Then, all operators would have to wait endlessly for Right of Way approvals, Environmental Impact Analysis (EIA) approvals and other approvals. Also, telecoms installations are huge targets for thieves who cart away inverter batteries, generators, diesels in addition to the other daily and long standing problems of multiple taxation, community issues and all,” he said.
Also speaking, Director of Corporate Communications & CSR, Airtel Nigeria, Emeka Oparah noted that the declaration of telecoms infrastructure as Critical National Infrastructure by the government would go a long way in helping to safeguard telecoms infrastructure as Airtel alone recorded 1,022 cases of fibre cuts between July 2019 and 11th of February, 2020.
According to him, 405 cases of the fibre cut were recorded as a result of road rehabilitation activities by construction workers while 617 cases were due to vandalism.
Oparah, therefore, pleaded that the government should come to the aid of telecoms operators as these activities result in dropped calls, poor network quality, network congestion and poor user experience for telecommunications subscribers across the country.
He also urged the federal and state governments to hasten the approval process for right of way for fibre deployment as well as quicken the EIA approval process, noting that these actions would help solve the problem of network congestion and network failure.