Airtel Predicts Growth In Broadband Adoption Next Year
WITH the 78 per cent penetration of mobile telephony in the country, the market potential in the broadband adoption may soon be broadened as demand for more stable Internet grows in residential and business segments of the economy.
The Managing Director of Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, said at the Businessday CEO’s Forum held in Lagos recently that broadband subscriptions could increase to 47 millions between December 2014 and December 2019, to demonstrate the great untapped market potential and continued strong total telecoms revenue driven essentially by mobile data.
Delivering a paper tittled: “Nigerian Telecoms Industry: Five Years Ahead,” he predicted strong growth in mobile financial services in the next one year, saying operators would be able to offer products to the large unbanked population in Nigeria, as “demand for mobile apps and e-commerce will have a positive knock-on effect on mobile operators”.
According to the Airtel helmsman, Nigeria offers a good destination for telecoms investors because of her large population with rising incomes. Continuing, he said the country has bandwidth capacity, especially with the four undersea cables that have not been exploited.
He said it would provide opportunities for domestic and international investors to take advantage of the growing broadband and data industry.
For this to happen, he said key issues would have to be urgently addressed for the country’s telecoms industry to reach its full market potential.
He listed these issues as: spectrum availability and adequacy, government commitment to the National Broadband Plan, tackling the monster of multiple-taxation, reliable and cost-effective power supply, protection of telecoms infrastructure from vandalism and resolving restrictions on telco activity in mobile money.
On spectrum availability, the Airtel boss said with explosive growth in mobile data traffic, operators would need more “spectrum to support this growth”.
Although he commended the National Communication Commission for making inroads towards spectrum availability and adequacy, he noted that there is an urgent need to expedite the process of release and award of frequency to operators to facilitate development within the industry.
Ogunsanya also condemned multiple-taxation, saying that the revenue loss from idle or shut down base stations represented the main source of negative impact of multiple taxation and network vandalism in the industry.