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Regulator Focuses on Satellite Services, Supports Satellite Connectivity

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is up-to-date in the nation’s attempts to introduce broadband facilities to improve the digital landscape in Nigeria.

The Commission has confirmed that it is not excluding broadband satellite networks while reviewing all the methods. 

NCC said this at a visit yesterday by Viasat, a commercial satellite provider, to the Commission in Abuja to make an update on its preparation to launch broadband satellite services in Nigeria.

Augustine Nwalunne, director of NCC Spectrum Administration, received the Viasat delegation on behalf of Professor Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice President. He confirmed that the Operator had been exploring its plans to secure regulatory approval for entry into the commercial Nigerian satellite communications industry.

   At the session, Viasat requested authorization and consent from the Commission to secure and use the country’s KA frequency band of 28 GHz to provide reliable Internet access and high-speed satellite communication via its established Nigerian subsidiary Viasat Nigeria.

The organization further disclosed its proposal for carrying out a test Proof of Concept (POC) in Abuja in 2020 to the Commission. And after that, Viasat intends to expand its services in a community, and then subsequently broaden its services throughout a state, then proceed to widen broadband Satellite Services countrywide by 2022.

  He said the GTH satellite services of Viasat intend to cover for homes, estates, schools, and micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), among several others. 

The organization has shown confidence that its services will be of real benefit to the unserved regions of Nigeria. 

Over the years, Viasat has invested more than $2.2 billion on geostationary satellite networks worldwide, having a footprint in Nigerian space to bridge the existing digital divide in the nation. 

Initially a satellite contractor, but currently an operator and services supplier, Viasat has been equipped to provide efficient Internet access via satellite and to offer high-performance broadband services via satellite in Nigeria.

The Nigeria Communications satellite service (NigComSat) now links its customers throughout Africa and Asia to the Ku-band, C-band, and Ka-band channels on the NigComSat-1R network, providing various alternatives to their communication demands.

The NigComSat satellite internet services can be implemented almost anywhere, especially for enterprise continuity and remote connectivity in brief periods, in areas that are hard to reach or on temporary sites. The company clarified that its services are reliable, cost-effective, high-speed Internet and data links optimized for efficient communications delivery, disaster recovery, and applications in Security.

Nigeria has 72 million or 37.8% broadband penetration, while 126 million citizens of Nigeria have GSM technology,  through the narrow band, which connects to the Internet.