As Nigeria continues to grapple with low broadband, which has undermined the growth potential of the telecom sector along with businesses depending on the internet, telcos have been working to address the challenge by upgrading broadband penetration across the country.
Nigeria has the lowest broadband penetration in the world compared to its population, creating a need for the facilitation of larger telecom infrastructure to bridge the gap.
In 2019, the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, unveiled the Nigerian National Broadband Plan Committee. The committee was expected to support the national digital economy and ensure that Nigeria attains 70% broadband target by 2025.
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It is in line with the National Broadband Plan that MTN Nigeria Communications Plc has announced the launch of Home Broadband services, to accelerate broadband penetration, making it available to millions of Nigerians.
Chief Operating Officer, MTN Nigeria Communications Plc, Hassan Jaber, said during the launch in Lagos that the company’s investment in broadband is buoyed by the belief that the internet is a right.
“At MTN, we believe that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern, connected life; hence our investment in industry-leading connectivity operations,” he said.
With MTN’s Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) and the latest Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) Home Broadband services, millions of Nigerian households, with approximately 50% located in rural areas, will have access to reliable and ultra-fast broadband services to enjoy unlimited data plans, ability to connect multiple devices and share data across remote locations for online learning, working from home, streaming, gaming, smart home solutions among others.
General Manager, Fixed Broadband, MTN Nigeria Communications Plc, Onyinye Ikenna-Emeke, said the Home Broadband will yield a lot of benefits to customers.
“Customers now have enhanced access to dedicated 24/7 support and online channels to place orders for MTN Home Broadband with options for home delivery.”
“They can also enjoy truly Unlimited Data bundles, longer tenure data plans with flexibility to share data with multiple users remotely as well as enhanced data subscription channels including myMTN App,” she said.
The backdrop of low broadband penetration in Nigeria has put its number of internet users below par with other African countries.
With over 200 million people, Nigeria currently boasts of approximately 44.3% internet connectivity, whereas other African countries, such as South Africa, Egypt, and Kenya, are at 68, 74, and 48% internet penetration, respectively.
This is a disadvantage to Nigeria’s economic growth as it dampens business opportunities in the country.
Global technology statistics closely link internet connectivity to sustainable economic growth rates. On average, the internet accounts for almost four percent of GDP across the large economies that make up 70% of global GDP. UNICEF also projects that nations with low broadband connectivity have the potential to realize up to 20% GDP growth by connecting schools to the internet.
MTN said it currently connects over 70 million Nigerians (over 7% 4G population and 89.8% coverage nationwide). The launch of the Home Broadband is expected to boost the number of subscribers under MTN platforms.