Lagos - The resolution of the deadlock
between the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) and MTN Nigeria, the mobile
operator, is key to driving local broadband penetration, a local market watcher
First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Capital noted the recent
acquisition of Visafone by MTN could drive broadband penetration towards the
official 30 percent target by 2018.
“However, this depends on the resolution of the dispute
between the operator and the regulator, which imposed a fine of US$5,9 billion
equivalent (since reduced) on MTN,” FBN Capital stated.
The NCC last year slapped the fine, since reduced to $3,9
billion, on MTN Nigeria after the mobile network failed to disconnect 5 million
subscriber identity module (SIM) cards in a timely manner.
Also Read: Government insists MTN must pay fine
MTN Nigeria is challenging the fine in court.
Recently, a Lagos court adjourned MTN’s legal challenge
to March 18 to give the parties a chance to settle the matter.
Meanwhile, FBN Capital noted data released by the NCC,
the industry regulator, showed that internet subscriptions grew by 27 percent
year-on-year to 97 million in December.
This represents a density of 57 percent, placing Nigeria
well above the African average of around 16 percent as estimated by McKinsey.
The most recent data on broadband penetration available
in the public domain is still very low, at 10 percent.
The deployment of broadband technology is key as
it improves productivity in businesses by maximizing their reach to labour
pools, and access to raw materials as well as consumers.
- CAJ News