The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has reiterated commitment on bridging digital gaps and as such urged telecommunications operators to deepen rural connectivity in Nigeria.
According to the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta while speaking at the 10th edition of the eWorld Forum held in Lagos themed “Roadmap to Broadband Everywhere” said broadband has been globally acknowledged as the foundation for transformation to a knowledge based economy.
In his Keynote address, the EVC who was represented by the Deputy Director, Spectrum Administration at NCC, Asaju Oluwatoyin, noted that the commission is highly committed to ensure additional deployment of broadband infrastructure in Nigeria because the inherent potentials in its deployment can not be overemphasized.
Speaking on this, Danbatta posited that it is almost impossible to equate any other modern technological tool with Broadband, because of its inherent potential to address issues relating to sustainable development and simultaneously facilitate socio- economic development while instigating transformative change in all the sector of the economy.
“This informs the continuous doggedness of the commission to ensure that the lacuna between the existing and planned fire infrastructure in Nigeria is narrowed
“To address this gap, the Commission has set an Open Access Model in line with Nigerian broadband plan in facilitating the availability, affordability and accessibility to broadband infrastructure and services”
Danbatta also added that that the Commission has adopted the deployment of optic fibre transmission network in the open access model to bridge current digital gap and deliver fast, reliable broadband services.
The EVC stressed that NCC is ready to boost Quality of Experience (QoE) of customers by introducing spectrum trading and commercial satellite deployment in the industry.
“Nigeria cannot lag behind the world in getting 5G to be launched in all areas but we need to ensure that the 3G and 4G are well deployed to all parts of the country. We are ready for the technology and have made reservation for the spectrum to be harmonized globally,” he added.
Furthermore, he noted that the commission has also continued to make available wireless spectrum resources to the operators, as well as creating enabling level playing field through various regulatory instruments for the development of the industry and the over all impact on the social economic well being of our nation.
“Some of the resources cover capacity and coverage spectrum in the 2.6GHz band, re-farming of part of the 1800MHz and re-planning of the 800MHz bands. Other made available are in the 70/80GHz bands, 5.4GHz with pkans at advanced stage to open up the 60GHz band for unlicensed use” he stated.
On his part, Organiser of the eWorld Forum, and Managing Director, Ajomedia, Aaron Ukodie, said: “To achieve digital revolution, the regulator has to focus more on enabling the players; the environment should be more investment-friendly than it is now; take access to the underserved and the unserved across the country; services need to be more affordable, and we need digital infrastructure”.
The Founder and Chairman of Mobile Software Solutions/Connect Technologies Limited, Chris Uwaje, clamoured for rural infrastructures in the villages to benefit from the broadband and emerging technologies.
“We should also be talking about a local cloud so our data centre will be in Nigeria and not elsewhere. Spectrum is the core. It is not only about 4G and 5G. The issue of smart cities must go in line with local cloud to increase data security and reduce cost,” he noted.