Africa is connecting but we still have a long way to go.
In 2014 the inventory of terrestrial fibre transmission networks in Africa totaled 958,901 km (Hamilton Research) and yet in the same 2014, 56% of the population of Africa still live more than 25 miles beyond the nearest fibre node (FTTH Council Africa)
Satellite communications still provides the the most viable connectivity solution for much of Africa. There are many reasons for that:
- Sparsely populated rural communities will never be economically viable to connect to broadband via fibre
- Unlike other connectivity solutions, satellite offers the same broadband speeds regardless of distance from urban infrastructure •
- Fibre can offer 100% national coverage and can be rapidly deployed with full mobility to support Healthcare, Tourism, Military, Education, Aviation, Maritime and Large Enterprise •
- Satellite connectivity integrates seamlessly and supports other technologies to improve mobility, affordability, reliability and national broadband coverage.
Countries across Africa have ambitious connectivity agendas to support their socio-economic growth, meet Millennium Development Goals, attract inward investment and create knowledge based economies. Governments and Regulatory Authorities are searching for the elusive solution to the challenge of connecting people in remote, under-served regions. And NGO’s and UN Agencies need reliable communications to be available anywhere and at any time. Also large enterprises with dispersed and travelling workforces need ubiquitous mobile connectivity.
Satellite connectivity could become that vehicle to help execute these plans especially in Nigeria with a relatively large land mass with non-homogeneity in development.
The above makes it clear why Nigeria needs to get its satellite communication strategy right by doing all necessary to get NigComSat and NARSDA up and running.