The Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria, ATCON, has called on the three tiers of government to harmonize existing policies and create an enabling environment in order to achieve 70 percent broadband penetration.
The President of the association, Mr Olusola Teniola, made the call in his remarks at the 2019 Annual General Meeting of the association, adding that stable policy and regulatory framework are important to effectively achieve ease of doing business and enhance investors’ confidence in the sector.
Teniola, who pledged the commitment of its members to helping the country achieve its target of 70 per cent broadband penetration by 2023, explained that broadband was key to national development.
“Although Nigeria has already achieved 33 per cent broadband penetration; plans are very much underway by telecoms operators to achieve 70 per cent penetration by 2023’, he said.
According to him, strong investment drive, harmonised policy and regulatory framework, creation of ease of doing business and enabling environment are some of the factors that will drive broadband penetration and enhance the telecom industry.
“As a telecom body, we are playing our roles well, but we need government to provide us with the needed enabling environment in the area of infrastructure as this will further boost broadband penetration and access. The key thing that will drive broadband penetration is the investment in infrastructure that will drive it.
“After Nigeria achieved 30 per cent broadband penetration in December 2018, ATCON came up with a new target for the next five years and government bought into the idea and then set another target of 70 per cent broadband penetration for the country by 2023. Hence, we are working towards achieving this new target. Influencing government’s position on national issues like broadband penetration and access is actually one of the ways we are promoting broadband access in the country.
“The 4G rollout is ongoing and it is a gradual process. Before the 3G network, we surpassed 2G network. It is better to look at the progress made in the telecom sector than to begin to compare Nigeria’s telecoms growth with developed countries. The evolution of technology is in phases and I am sure that in no distant time, the entire country will be covered with 4G services before looking at 5G network that is existing in some advanced countries of the world”, Teniola said.
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