Connect with us


The Telecoms Sector on the Rise: The Opportunities and the Uncertainties



Kindly share this post

By Dr. Falade Muritala Adesola

With more investments and higher expectations, the Nigerian telecoms sector has consistently contributed to the growth of the Nigerian economy.

The Telecoms Sector on the Rise: The Opportunities and the Uncertainties

Dr. Falade Muritala Adesola

While the market size and loquacious nature of the country’s population are significant factors in the sector’s viability, the crucial role of the regulatory body, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), currently led by Dr Aminu Maida, cannot be overstated.

Effective regulation is a critical variable in the success of any industry, and the NCC’s leadership has been instrumental in shaping the sector’s progress. However, current realities in the country suggest that a lot remains to be done.

If we take a moment to reflect on the past and consider the incredible technological advancements that have transformed our society, we will undoubtedly find them astonishing. These advancements carry profound implications for our future and compel us to ponder how our world will continue to evolve.

In any human society, whether it’s a simple tribe or a highly developed civilization, communication is essential. Without the ability to share information and ideas, it would be difficult for people to come together, collaborate, and make important decisions that affect everyone. Communication enables cooperation, the creation and exchange of goods, the sharing of knowledge and ideas, and providing help and support to each other when it’s needed. This makes the telecoms sector a very strategic one.

The global spread of mobile phones has further transformed communication, offering new opportunities and challenges. This technology has revolutionized the telecommunications sector, requiring adaptable strategies for both developed and developing countries.

As the popular saying goes, “In a city that has no laws, there is no crime,” governments therefore continue to prioritise the establishment of strong, independent regulators to prevent chaos and ensure that national development goals are achieved.

Beyond concerns around  quality of service and enhancing communication experience, the regulation of the telecommunications sector has been motivated by the need to ensure fair competition when market forces alone are insufficient. The goal of universal services, particularly in enabling customers to receive and make calls, has also influenced the regulation of basic telecommunications services. Nowadays, basic telecommunications services are widely regarded as essential, and regulations are in place to ensure it is affordable and widely available. Over the last two decades, many telecommunications markets have attained a certain level of regulatory maturity, establishing separate regulators, and competitive frameworks.

In Africa, the telecommunications industry is experiencing rapid changes, with the market valued at approximately $63.17 billion in 2024. It is projected to surpass $82.34 billion by 2029, growing at an annual rate of 5.44%. This growth is strongly linked to Africa’s youthful population.

Kenya, an East African technological hub, boasted a telecommunications market worth around $3.3 billion in 2023. The total telecom service revenue in Kenya was expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 2% throughout 2023. South Africa also holds significant influence in the African telecom market, where it is projected to generate approximately US$16.0 billion in revenue from communication services by 2024.

Nigeria is also widely recognised as one of the major telecommunications markets in the world. With a population of over 200 million and blessed with abundant natural resources, Nigeria ranks as the 14th largest oil producer in the world and the telecommunications sector contributes as much as 14% to the GDP. This makes it an attractive prospect for potential investors looking to tap into the largely untapped telecoms market.

The outcome of the telecom sector will have an immense impact on other sectors of the Nigerian economy. At a breakfast session organised by the Lagos Business School (LBS), Bismarck Rewane, the CEO of Financial Derivatives Ltd, said, “Big push theory posits that growth in one sector can stimulate growth in others through backward and forward linkages. The telecom sector has both forward and backward linkages to various sectors. This linkage to other sectors is vital for economic growth, innovation, and productivity across various industries making it a key enabler and driver of development in modern economies. If the telecom industry collapses, all other sectors will follow.”

Recognizing the pivotal role that telecommunications can play in national development, the Nigerian government is dedicated to rapidly expanding telecommunications facilities and services through adequate efforts of regulatory bodies. Private investment in the sector has surged from $50 million in 1999 to over $70 billion twenty-one years after, leading to a rapid growth in subscriber numbers.

The advancements and progress in these industries are largely driven by the visible efforts of the regulatory bodies overseeing them. Meanwhile, they are not without their challenges. South Africa’s telecoms sector is regulated by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), Kenya, Communications Authority of Kenya, and Nigeria, the  Nigeria Communications Commission; all responsible for ensuring fair play, continued infrastructural development and quality of service. The Nigerian Communications Act of 2003 further empowers the NCC to effectively carry out its responsibilities as the independent regulator of the industry in Nigeria. Additionally, the Act established the office of the head of the NCC, led by an Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), who is responsible for overseeing the regulation of the telecommunications sector in the country.

The body has continued to facilitate private sector participation in communication services delivery and regulate the activities of the operators to ensure consistency in the availability of service delivery and fair pricing. The incumbent Executive Vice-Chairman, Dr. Aminu Maida is making significant strides despite the numerous challenges that plague the industry. The NCC recently obtained right-of-way (RoW) fee waivers in six states. Typically, some States require telecom operators to pay these fees to install fiber optic cables along roadways. High right of way fees have been a significant barrier for telecom companies, hindering the expansion of broadband access and infrastructure. These waivers will allow telecom operators to deploy infrastructure more easily and cost-effectively, facilitating broader internet coverage.

The EVC’s stance is also evident in his advocacy that the telecom infrastructure should be regarded as a national infrastructure, reflecting its critical role in the nation’s development. It should be co-managed in partnership with the telecom industry, which operates and maintains it.  This collaborative management approach would address issues like frequent fiber cuts caused by uncoordinated activities of engineers and builders who often do not consult the sector’s regulator before proceeding with their work. Such disruptions are a major cause of vandalism and service interruptions. His advocacy has resulted in government action to make cable damages and vandalization of telecom infrastructure a criminal offense. This proactive approach not only discourages future irresponsible behaviour but also helps in maintaining uninterrupted services for the public.

Consumers today have a growing reliance on staying connected and having fast internet speed. The increasing demand for high-speed applications like video streaming and gaming, along with the expansion of the mobile ecosystem, is driving the need for better broadband connectivity. This demand has put pressure on the industry to improve the availability and quality of broadband services, resulting in connectivity issues.

To address this, the regulatory body has continued to lay emphasis on the need for operators to move from quality of service to quality of experience, which is a holistic approach to improving customer experience in the industry.

Indeed, the telecoms sector is on the rise. However, additional safeguards are necessary to sustain its growth and ensure long-term viability.

Dr. Falade Muritala Adesola is a Senior Lecturer and former HOD, Computer and Information Sciences Department, Trinity University.



Kindly share this post

Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University. Dear Reader, Your support matters. But we believe that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. That is why, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and finance and how they affect lives. Our incisive and analytical view of how technology news affects the daily life help individuals and organizations make up their minds. Quality journalism costs money. Today, we're asking that you support us to do more. Kindly support our effort to deliver technology and finance journalism to everyone in the world. Donate as little as N1,000. Bank transfers can be made to: UBA Plc 1017156876 Communication Week Media Ltd


ITU, WATRA Join Forces to Enhance ICT Infrastructure Mapping in West Africa



Kindly share this post

In a landmark initiative, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the West Africa Telecommunications Regulators Assembly (WATRA) have announced a joint declaration aimed at strengthening collaboration on ICT infrastructure mapping across West Africa. This partnership is set to drive significant improvements in connectivity and socio-economic development throughout the region.

Both organizations emphasized the importance of comprehensive ICT infrastructure data and mapping in shaping effective infrastructure strategies. These data and maps are essential for connecting unserved and underserved communities, with Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) playing a crucial role in planning investments and making informed decisions.

Through this collaboration, ITU and WATRA aim to leverage their respective initiatives and projects, avoiding duplication of efforts and reducing costs. By harmonizing procedures for high-quality infrastructure mapping, the partnership will accelerate efforts to connect communities to the digital economy.

The joint declaration outlines several areas of cooperation, including joint advocacy, capacity building, and implementing ITU recommendations on geospatial information. Specific activities will include technical assistance, enhanced network planning, data analytics for decision-making, regional integration, and advocacy for transparency.

The collaboration aims to achieve multiple outcomes, including improved data consistency, informed infrastructure investment decisions, streamlined decision-making processes, increased regional integration, and enhanced transparency through web-based information access.

Aliyu Aboki, Executive Secretary of WATRA, highlighted the significance of this partnership: “WATRA is excited to partner with ITU on this vital initiative. Our collective efforts will not only enhance the quality of infrastructure mapping but also support our member states in making evidence-based decisions that will bridge the connectivity gap and foster economic growth.”

The joint advocacy efforts will focus on promoting the importance of gathering and managing infrastructure data for decision-making. Capacity-building initiatives will include sharing resources and conducting joint training sessions for member states to improve their infrastructure and broadband mapping capabilities.

Technical assistance will be provided to review and update infrastructure data, while capacity development efforts will enhance network planning insights, impacting infrastructure investment decisions across the region.

The partnership will also facilitate regional integration by sharing insights into network interconnection gaps and opportunities, promoting new infrastructure investments and partnerships. Additionally, it will advocate for improved transparency and stakeholder engagement through accessible web-based information on infrastructure.

The ITU-WATRA joint declaration marks a significant milestone in enhancing ICT infrastructure mapping in West Africa. By working together, ITU and WATRA aim to drive connectivity improvements and socio-economic development, ensuring that communities across the region are better integrated into the digital economy.

Kindly share this post
Continue Reading


Get Exclusive Rewards with TECNO’s Mid-Year Sales



Kindly share this post

As we find ourselves right in the heart of the year, TECNO invites you to embark on an exhilarating journey with the TECNO Mid-Year Sales Promo! From June 10th to July 20th, 2024, get ready to immerse yourself in a world of incredible rewards that will make this season truly unforgettable!

When you choose any model from the TECNO CAMON 30 series, prepare to be amazed. Not only will you receive a fabulous CAMON Gift Box, but you’ll also have the opportunity to enjoy the convenience of Easybuy with a 0% interest rate.

Opting for the incredible TECNO POVA 6 NEO comes with an exciting N10,000 discount, a unique TECNO Accessory Gift, and the same 0% interest rate on Easybuy.

And if the TECNO SPARK 20 catches your eye, we’ve got something special for you too – 15GB of free data from GENENIX and a fantastic headset. Meanwhile, purchasers of the TECNO POP 8 will receive 15GB of free data from GENENIX and a delightful gift.

Participating in the TECNO Mid-Year Sales Promo is a breeze. Head to any of the authorised TECNO stores and get your hands on any of the fantastic TECNO devices mentioned above.

Alongside your purchase, you’ll receive your well-deserved gifts and a raffle ticket, granting you an incredible chance to win in the thrilling weekly draws across Nigeria.

This is your golden opportunity to enjoy mind-blowing discounts and exciting gifts, as well as being part of a lottery with extraordinary prizes.

During the weekly draws, luck smiled upon seven fortunate customers who were presented with rams on June 14th, marking the joyous celebration of Eid-el-Kabir. On June 28th and July 19th, fourteen weekly customers will also walk away with delightful food packs.

This promo is all about exceptional offers that elevate the joy of your festivities and make your mid-year shine brighter.

Visit TECNO-authorised stores to acquire your new TECNO device and enter a season filled with rewards and celebrations. TECNO is committed to making your mid-year more radiant and fulfilling.

Come and be a part of this festive season and let TECNO bring you more joy and rewards.

Remember, the more you purchase, the greater your chances of winning. For more information, follow TECNO on Facebook, Instagram, and X.

Kindly share this post
Continue Reading


MTN Foundation Leads Successful Anti-Substance Abuse Advocacy Walk in Lagos



Kindly share this post

The MTN Foundation, through its Anti-Substance Abuse Programme (ASAP), recently held an advocacy walk in Lagos aimed at raising awareness and combating drug abuse.

The walk started at the NDLEA Office in Gbagada and ended at the Ikeja Military Cantonment on Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, Maryland, covering a distance of 10.2 km.

This event saw the active participation of the Lagos State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr. Mobolaji Ogundele; Assistant Commander General, Narcotics, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Dr. Segun Oke; Executive Director, MTN Foundation, Odunayo Sanya; among other key stakeholders.

The Lagos advocacy walk is part of a broader campaign by the MTN Foundation to discourage first-time use and casual substance abuse nationwide. The campaign has already seen a successful walk held in Port Harcourt and Abuja, with upcoming events planned for Kano.

Community-based approaches to advocacy walks are crucial as they engage local populations directly, cultivating a sense of ownership and collective responsibility in addressing substance abuse. Such grassroots initiatives can effectively tailor messages and interventions to meet the specific needs of the community, ensuring a more impactful and sustainable outcome.

The Lagos advocacy walk, by involving diverse stakeholders and sectors, exemplifies this approach, promoting widespread awareness and encouraging proactive measures against drug abuse.

Commenting on the success of the advocacy walk, the Executive Director of the MTN Foundation, Odunayo Sanya, stated, “The Lagos advocacy walk was a resounding success, showcasing the power of collective action in addressing the critical issue of substance abuse.

“The strong turnout and enthusiastic participation reflect our community’s deep commitment to building a drug-free society.

“At the MTN Foundation, we believe that through continued education, empowerment, and collaboration with key stakeholders, we can create a safer and healthier environment for our youth.

The advocacy walk not only served as a platform to raise awareness but also as a call to action for all members of the community to join hands in the fight against drug abuse.

As the MTN Foundation continues to expand its Anti-Substance Abuse Programme across Nigeria, it remains steadfast in its mission to promote preventive measures, engage communities, and implement evidence-based strategies.

Through these sustained efforts, the Foundation aims to build a resilient and drug-free generation, contributing to the long-term socio-economic stability and well-being of the nation.

Kindly share this post
Continue Reading