By Segun Oruame
MainOne Cable and HIS have won the first set of licences for Infracos as the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) officially kicks off its nationwide broadband plans through infrastructure companies (Infracos).
MainOne Cable which first entered the market with its undersea cableconnecting parts of West Africa with the rest of the world has license coverage for the Lagos area while HIS has coverage for the North Central.
The Commission’s Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, Dr. Eugene Juwah, announced this yesterday at the 4th ICT Industry Stakeholders Forum.
Nigeria’s telephony sector has recorded some sort of fairy tale success with its quadrupling growth from less than 500, 000 active telephone lines to over 140 million in only 12 years.
Noticeably, the market has recorded a shift from voice to data. But poor connectivity infrastructures and frequent power cuts have connived with other factors to undermine the country’s data potential.
To address this, the country unfolded a broadband roadmap that would bring fast internet connection to nearly 40% of the population in less than five years.
To get the plan rolling, the NCC adopted the Open Access model for broadband deployment and rollout nationwide. Infracos are designed to fulfill the schemes.
What this means is that under the terms of the new deal, MainOne and HIS would expand broadband connectivity in both Lagos and North Central Nigeria in the weeks ahead.
In a market that has excitedly opened wider to electronic commerce, more broadband access will enhance voice service quality and greater uptake of video and other data services.
The Infracoslicence will be offered in phases to include other zones.