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Telecoms experts advocate strengthening of infrastructure to promote digital economy

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 .Nigeria has 219m mobile subscribers, tech-savvy population– NCC


Blessing Akorowosi


Experts and analysts of the telecommunications industry have called for inclusivity and connectivity in the sector for a sustainable digital economy.


The call was made during the second edition of West Africa Telecoms Infrastructure Summit and Exhibition (WATISE) with the theme— Shaping the future of the telecoms infrastructure industry: Trends and insights for a digital economy held at Lagos Oriental hotel, Lagos.


In his presentation, the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Aminu Maida stated that telecommunications infrastructure is the backbone of the digital economy as it facilitates seamless connectivity and supports a range of services from basic voice calls to high-speed internet and cloud computing.


Dr. Maida who was represented at the event by Engr Victor Adoga, the Head Next Generation Technology and Standards, NCC noted that the rapid growth of the digital economy demands robust, scalable, and secure telecommunications infrastructure.


Speaking on the challenges of the sector, he said despite having 219 million mobile subscribers and a tech-savvy population, the nation faces issues of uneven service distribution, infrastructural deficits, and regulatory uncertainties which sometimes have hindered progress.


On the emerging trends for growth in the industry, Maida said, “the rollout of 5G networks is a transformative trend in telecoms infrastructure. 5G promises significantly higher speeds, lower latency, and greater capacity, facilitating new applications such as IoT (Internet of Things), autonomous vehicles, smart cities and advanced augmented reality.


“The future beyond 5G, looking towards 6G, suggests further enhancements in network capabilities and the integration of AI (Artificial Intelligence) to manage network operations and service delivery. It requires substantial investment in both hardware and spectrum allocation.


“The backbone of any robust digital economy is its fiber optic network. Expanding our fiber optic infrastructure is essential to increase bandwidth and improve internet quality across Nigeria.


“As digital services grow, so does the need to protect and manage the vast amounts of data generated. Strengthening data security measures and establishing data centers locally will be crucial in maintaining user trust and complying with global data protection regulations.”


The NCC boss further called for collective efforts of all stakeholders to shape the telecom landscape for generations to come to build a digital Nigeria.


In her part, Head of Network and Solutions, ICSL, Tinuade Oguntuyi noted that rural areas need better network services for proper communication and development.


She urged the government to support network service providers to reach more rural places as they are also full of great potentials for the growth of the nation.


Ahmade Tijani, a local content ICT advocate commended federal government projects to connect the rural dwellers and harped on the need to carry the local government leaders along.


Tijani cited the challenge of data gathering which can be sorted by the local government, calling on the grassroots to add value to the nation growth.

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