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Telecom stakeholders decry over dependence on mobile data


Mobile phone use

The ease in the deployment of mobile communications as well as the challenges in the building telecommunications infrastructure required for fixed service have forced the country to depend largely on mobile data service.

This is coming as the country seats at 134th position on global fixed broadband speed with 10.90 Mbps download.

According to Muhammed Rudman, managing director, Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria, “The ship has sailed – We allowed the largest fixed telephone network operator to go under, NITEL would have been the perfect vehicle to deliver fixed broadband.


“Most countries strengthen and privatize their national carrier before providing license to other operators that is why today companies such as British Telecoms, France Telecoms and South African telecoms are still in existence. Unfortunately building such companies requires huge investment; hence it would be very difficult to go that route these days, especially with advent of wireless technology.”

Meanwhile in a new report released by this week on the cost of mobile data worldwide has Nigeria occupying 44th position with an average cost of 1GB at $2.22 approximately N800.

Explaining the cost determinants, Engr. Olusola Teniola, president, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) said: “The costs typically are made up of IP transit costs (London-to-Lagos) + IP-peering + national terrestrial costs + last mile costs . At USD$2.22 average, it appears that the sample was taken with delivery in Lagos (only) where average 1Gb data / month costs typically NGN800 per sub on the best broadband package.

Nigeria was placed fourth in Sub-saharan Africa. The broadband market analyst firm stated that; “Contrary to what one might expect, ten out of the top 50 cheapest countries in the world for mobile data are in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is in stark contrast to the cost of broadband on the continent, which is almost universally very high or non-existent.

“Rwanda and Sudan feature in the top ten, with 1GB of data costing just $0.56 and $0.68. Sub-Saharan Africa also lays claim to the most expensive nation in the world for mobile date: Zimbabwe, whose average cost for 1GB of mobile data is an eye-watering $75.20, while its most expensive gigabyte is an even more shocking $138.46.”

Oladipo Raji, President/CEO, InfraFocus Technologies, “Mobile data is cheap and limited in terms of what one can do with it; fixed data supports a lot of applications such as Pay TV among others. The only way forward is to segment the market and focus on infrastructure build out that will take services to rural areas,”

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