More Africa NewsStakeholders delve into telecoms infrastructure deployment challenges: Nigeria

October 19, 2023by myles0

The concentration of most telecoms infrastructure in major cities was because of vandalism, insecurity and high right-of-way (RoW) charges experienced across the country

The quest for a reliable telecommunications infrastructure for the players in West Africa’s industry to deliver essential services and products in an interdependent ecosystem was the focus of discussion at the maiden edition of the West Africa telecoms Infrastructure Summit and Exhibition (WATISE).

The event, which had the theme, ‘The Future of Infrastructure, Connectivity and Services: A New Interdependent Ecosystem of Partners,’ was hosted by TechnologyMirror, an ICT and telecoms news website with support from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and IHS Towers Nigeria.

In the lead presentation on the topic, ‘Telecoms Infrastructure Challenges: The Pains of Inter-Related Players of the Ecosystem and the Consumers’ Quest,’ Mr Spencer Itive, a telecoms engineer and Chief Executive Officer of RS Engineering Global Limited, harped on the need for government in the region to pay close attention to the protection of telecoms infrastructure for the region’s digital economy quest to be achieved.

According to him, government had been paying lip services to the declaration of telecom infrastructure as critical, stressing that the lack of commitment from the government has led to a consistent attack on telecoms infrastructure across the country.

“We are yet to see the commitment of the government in protecting telecom infrastructure and this is why every community sees the deployment as a favour to the telecom operators,” he said.

Itive said a complex tapestry of partnerships now weaves together telecom companies, technology giants, governments and a thriving ecosystem of startups, noting that these partnerships would redefine the boundaries of what is possible in telecommunications.

On the future of infrastructure connectivity, he said all stakeholders in the telecoms sector had to understand that no single entity could meet the multifaceted demands of the digital age in isolation.

Speaking during the second presentation on the topic, ‘Infrastructure Gap: Leveraging Connectivity and Technology to Transform Enterprise and Social-Economic Life in West Africa,’ Rachael Orumor, Chief Executive Officer, Sens Orbit Nigeria, said over 20 million businesses across Africa use technology to interact with their clients and potential customers.

Orumor, who is based in the of Republic Benin, said the factors that are driving digital transformation in West Africa is the increasing investment in infrastructure, growing awareness of the benefits of technology and a supportive regulatory environment.

While delivering her paper virtually, she noted that there was limited access to education, especially for people in rural areas, who do not have access to high-speed internet or reliable mobile service, stressing the need for more attention for telecoms infrastructure in the region’s rural areas.

According to her, to leverage connectivity and technology to transform enterprise and socioeconomic life in West Africa, infrastructure investments must ensure the proper functioning of existing infrastructure while expanding telecommunications reach.

She said the lack reliable telecoms infrastructure reduces economic opportunities, noting that many businesses now rely on online tools and platforms to operate and workers who do not have access to these tools may be at a disadvantage.

During the panel discussion, Mr Mike Ofili, Chief Executive Officer of Coloplus, a tower infrastructure company, said returns on investment in infrastructure could only be achieved in major cities where there were relative stability and a ready market.

He said the concentration of most telecoms infrastructure in major cities was because of vandalism, insecurity and high right-of-way (RoW) charges experienced across the country.

Source: Zawya

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