By Aduragbemi Omiyale
ipNX Nigeria Division General Manager, Mr. Segun Okuneye, lamented the low level of fiber optic infrastructure in the country as what is currently on the ground is only available in a few cities and urban areas. .
Addressing telecom stakeholders at a national policy forum on 5G network for Nigeria’s digital economy, he attributed the factors behind it to vandalism and damage to infrastructure. of existing fiber through road construction.
He further cited the Right of Way (RoW) as a long-standing challenge to the deployment of telecommunications infrastructure over the years, stating that charges continue to hamper the deployment of telecommunications infrastructure in Nigeria.
“The proposed unified right-of-way has yet to be accepted by several states and their agencies, and as they continue to administer the right-of-way differently with financial requirements, this poses major challenges to operators’ deployment plans.
“That’s on top of differing policies and the inability to get R0W permits from different states,” he lamented.
Mr. Okuneye also identified access to currencies (forex) as another cog in the wheel of fiber rollout for 5G and ubiquitous broadband, noting that the telecom industry in Nigeria is highly dependent on fiber manufacturers. foreign equipment and imported technical expertise for the deployment and maintenance of networks.
“The cost and process of accessing forex remains a major challenge for operators in the fiber sub-sector, and this could further create a setback for 5G deployment.
“Furthermore, operators are still experiencing security issues, sometimes resulting in temporary disruption of telecommunications services – caused by infrastructure vandalism, theft and community issues. Therefore, security will continue to be a challenge if not addressed effectively,” he said.
If these issues are not addressed, he said, it could be difficult for the country to meet the 2025 broadband penetration target.
He said that currently, Nigeria needs an additional 167,000 kilometers of fiber optic infrastructure to achieve this goal.
“The nation needs 120,000 to 167,000 km of fiber infrastructure in addition to the existing 55,000 km,” Okuneye said, adding that the critical link between undersea cables that transmit huge connectivity capacity in the country and end users is the fiber subnet. -sector, where ipNX Nigeria is a major player.
“Nigeria needs three times more fiber infrastructure than it currently has to achieve around 90% broadband penetration among others by 2025,” he said.
He stressed that it is important to lay the fiber on potential small and macro cells now, wherever and whenever possible, and on existing cell sites, because “this is an essential preparatory step if these sites cellphones must upgrade to 5G in the coming years.”