Top 20 CEO’s Exclusive Interview: Nigeria’s Broadband Penetration Target and Advanced 4G LTE

What time frame to you forsee that broadband will get to every corner of Nigeria?

Like all issues concerning development, we need to start somewhere. Now we are at 30%, which is simply a bit less than 1/3 of the entire surface. We need to get to 40% and above. Event the voice service which is the 2G that is the most prevalent form os communications technology in the country is not in every corner of Nigeria. After the 2G technology we have 2.5G and 3G. Even the 3G is less prevalent than the 2G today.

The 3G technology happens to be one of the technologies that will deliver broadband by our definition, we are beginning to see that it delivers data and speed that makes it useable on most devices that people carry. So in terms of how long do I foresee broadband penetration, in terms of getting into all the corners of Nigeria? All industry players are setting another 5 years and we are looking at 70% broadband coverage.

We need broadband for an efficient digital economy and as such, when do you think broadband will be more accessible, available and affordable?

Once the operators start to expand the infrastructure, there will be availability and accessibility. Whoever puts it up would want to sell it and just like economics, there is the market. The issue of affordability comes in the era of a free market. I will say the rates in Nigeria is quite fair and as such should be affordable taking market competition into consideration.

As an industry player, what is the solution to have broadband that can serve the market at this critical period?

There are many solutions to broadband market in which we have been a player since inception. It there is any broadband being defined, we are part of the people that would have defined it in this market. We have been playing in the corporate world for a while and even though we may not be that popularly known by the general masses we know we have the zeal to enter the retail market and let people feel our high quality service. We pay close attention to customer service and the same level of professionalism we operate with at the corporate level is what we will bring to bear on the retail market.

We have 3G, 4G LTE. What is 4G LTE advanced technology that you just rolled out?

Our Advanced 4G LTE is an advanced pioneering technology because it was built solely on the 4G layer. We started with the construction of the basic infrastructure of 4G in mind and in terms of deployment, the equipment that we use is by far faster than many others in the telecoms world. So it is at the peak of what other people use and that translates to speed.

In short, it is actually a lot faster.

It is 5G aware because the equipment is actually riding on 5G technology. There is no 4.5G and if there is anything like that then what we have deployed will have easily qualified. That is why it becomes advanced 4G Lte.

The transmission equipment is the latest on the market and a higher technology. This will evidently show as more people use the service and experience the benefits.

We are known for our efficient customer service and that is also going to be one of the things we deploy for our customers in the retail market. We have learnt the ropes from the corporate world and are carrying the same into the retail world.

(Edited excerpt from Top 20 CEO’s Exclusive Interview by Tayo Adewusi in ICT Watch Magazine)
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