NCC Targets $25bn Investment On Broadband Infrastructure

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By Editor

Dr Ernest Juwah

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says the National Broadband Plan of the Federal Government can attract over $25bn in Foreign Direct Investment in the next five years.

The Executive Vice-Chairman of the commission, Dr. Eugene Juwah, who said this at an interactive session with journalists at the International Telecommunication Union Telecom World 2013, which ended in Bangkok, Thailand on Friday, also stated that the regulatory agency would in the next two months review Key Performance Indicators for digital mobile service providers.

A statement obtained on Monday quoted Juwah as saying that with pent-up demand for data services in the country, any company that took up an infrastructure license to be auctioned in January 2014 by the NCC would be a handsome return as GSM operators had witnessed in the country.

He added that the broadband plan of the government could attract more than $25bn in the next 5 years as customers for broadband services were already waiting for operators to roll out their services.

The NCC had recently announced that it was set to auction seven licenses to operators who would roll out broadband infrastructure to serve the country which had been split into 7 regional areas.

Juwah said, “It is not by magic that we have attracted $25bn to the sector in Foreign Direct Investment. We hope that with our program in broadband, we can attract even more than that in the next five years.”

“The demand for broadband is already here. The major issue of quality of service is that there is no choice option. There is no broadband choice. If you build the broadband infrastructure, I can assure you, it will be taken.

“Infrastructure operators are companies that will, in each region, build broadband infrastructure. We believe that the fairest way to go about this is to conduct a bid among those that are interested. The company that wins this bid will own and operate this infrastructure.”

On the quality of service, the NCC Boss said the bar for digital mobile operators otherwise known as Key Performance Indicators would soon be raised in accordance with an agreement earlier reached with the operators.

He said that it was the responsibility of the operators to know the number of subscribers that their current capacity could support and added that any operator that failed to meet the prescribed standards would be sanctioned.

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