According to Reuters Africa, the number of people with internet access in Nigeria could triple over the next two years, mirroring the explosion in mobile phone usage in Africa’s most populous nation.
Funke Opeke, chief executive of the Main One Cable Company which has laid a 7,000 km fibre optic cable linking West Africa to Europe, forecast at least one in three people in Nigeria could have direct internet access by 2013.
If Ms Funke is right, that means, more than 50 million Nigerians will be connected in two years.
“We would say a number in the 35-40 percent for internet access penetration over the next 18-24 months would be a worthwhile objective,” Opeke said in an interview.
“We have a large young population. If you think of all our students in tertiary education, if you think about government migrating to e-government … if you think of businesses which are not yet fully automated,” she said.
Main One Cable Company Limited (‘Main One’) is the first submarine cable company offering open access, wholesale broadband capacity in West Africa. Main One is wholly African-owned with a vision to expand the much needed capacity on the African continent and reduce costs of broadband communications across the Continent. This vision is being realized via a submarine cable system that was declared ready for service in July 2010 with initial landing stations in Nigeria, Ghana and Portugal – linking West Africa to the rest of the world via Portugal and the United Kingdom.
Main One’s vision is to be the most reliable, scalable and professionally managed international telecommunications service provider on the African continent. Main One’s high capacity fibre ensures that reliable and first class service delivery of the much needed broadband capacity is easily available and accessible within West Africa for regional and international operators as well as service providers.