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Nigeria aims to slash broadband costs

24 June 2013, 12:01Henry Ifeanyi

Lagos - Nigeria hopes to reduce the cost of broadband subscription by 50% and increase mobile phone network coverage in rural areas by 2015.

Omobola Johnson, Nigeria's Minister of Information and Communications Technology, said during a presentation at the Stakeholders’ Forum held in Lagos that the telecommunication revolution in the country impacted positively on the rate payable for broadband subscription on a yearly basis.

She forecasted mobile subscription density in the country would reach 98 percent in the next two years, while mobile phone coverage of rural areas, which is currently 40 percent, will reach 60 percent.

Johnson noted that the country had witnessed tremendous growth on access to ICT services, as statistics showed that the density with regards to fixed lines grew by 0.5 percent in 2011 and expected to reach 10 percent in 2015.

She however decried that whilst the number of mobile subscription was increasing, fixed line subscription has stagnated.

Meanwhile, Johnson promised stakeholders that government would ensure a stable environment that supported the development of the ICT sector.

Policies will address such issues as Right of Way (RoW), multiple taxation and protection of telecommunications infrastructure to enhance a return on investment.

She also said the federal government would encourage service providers to increase the number of telecommunications base stations in the country from the present 27 000 to 60 000 to meet the national target of five-fold increase in broadband penetration by 2018.

This would represent about 122 percent growth level in the number of base stations in the country.

Johnson also restated the government's commitment to reducing operating costs of operators and ensure easier access to right-of-way to build telecoms infrastructure.

– CAJ News

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