The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that the investment in the telecommunications sector hit US$68 billion as at 2018 and could double in the next 10 years.
The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, stated on Thursday in Lagos, at the ‘Telecom Executives and Regulator Forum (TERF) 2019’ organised by the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON).
Represented by Mr Mohammed Babajika, the Director, Policy Competition & Economic Analysis, NCC, Danbatta said that investment was huge, but was not adequate for one of the fastest growing telecommunications markets in the world.
According to him, the industry is capital intensive, hence, the need for further investment.
”The need for service providers to increase their infrastructure deployment to satisfy the ever-increasing demand creates room for double the size of this investment in the next ten years.
”We have about 40 million Nigerians yet to be reached with basic infrastructure and services.
”The quest for data and social media, as well as the increasing value added services create new frontiers for investments.
”Therefore, the desire for investment in the sector will continue to grow as the size of the network increases,” he said.
The NCC boss said that the roadmap for broadband had created new frontiers for investment in the industry.
He said that telecommunications constituted a significant portion of the world economy, as the global market value of the sector passed the US$2.5 trillion mark in 2010.
Danbatta said that undoubtedly, everyone should be interested in the sector that generated such figures.
He said that therefore, robust telecommunications network was important for economic growth, which was achievable through investment.
In year 2000, the sector had 450,000 connected lines with an investment of US$60 million; in 2014, it connected over 15 million lines with about US$32 billion investment.
Also, in 2018, 172 million lines were connected with more than US$68 billion investment.
He said that what enabled such remarkable achievements were effective regulation, government support, enabling environment, consumer/investor symbiosis, economic stability, among others.
According to him, the telecoms industry is a very dynamic one and the generational change of telecommunications has continued to redefine the dynamism of the industry, from the use of voice dominated technologies (1G and 2G) to data dominated technologies (3G, 4G and 5G).
”These transformative and innovative changes are key to enhancing the development of the industry and its socio-economic multiplier effect in all the other sectors of the economy; be it commerce, education, transportation, health and finance.
”Therefore, the sector has witnessed tremendous growth, which has triggered competition amongst the key players in service delivery to end-users, and brought in new entrants into the ecosystem,” he said.
Danbatta said that the key trends that were shaping the telecommunications industry include high demand, disruptive competition, growth, data dominance, and connecting things.
He said that conceptualising innovative ideas within the telecommunications ecosystem was a central requirement for the industry sustainability and investment drive.