DIGITAL MIGRATION: “We Have a Platform in Place to Assist Broadcasters”- Alale

Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT), Ms Abimbola Alale has again states that NIGCOMSAT will key into the ministry’s objective to achieve a great broadband plan. She states this during the Maiden Communication Sector Retreat. “For me as a driver and as key leader,  the way the company is tapping into the ministry and the ministry’s objective is by helping the ministry to achieve its broadband plan we all know that right now ICT  drives everything and we cannot design the national broadband plan for those  who live in the urban region or the state capitals. Lagos  or the cities doing well. People in the rural areas must also be carried along, if you are talking of financial inclusion, digital inclusion. ICT drives everything in the economy, so how do we provide ICT to them? Is through the national broadband plan and inside this you have the fiber, the satellite, microwave, the NigComSat satellite, and terrestrial lanes etc. They are all asset and infrastructure and ICT infrastructures but where are they getting to, you have the fiber which would work in urban cities but what about those who reside in the rural areas , we have a satellite which covers everywhere in Nigeria to get the people in the rural areas involved in the change of digital revolution is where we key in , all the black spots in Nigeria we intend to use satellite to reach the rural areas  and it’s the same cost as to reach out to the rural areas and the cities  and our focus is the RURAL AREAS and we have to assist the ministry to achieve this so we would be focusing on all the dark spots, other  than this, that is one of the things we do when you talk of having a good platform to run the economy now.”

As far as positioing NIGCOMSAT to ensure that Nigerians in the under served areas are able to get fast broadband access ata very affordable rate, Alale said that NIGCOMSAT isi engaging in multi-stakeholder partnership with private sector to achieve this laudable task. “We work with our channel partners, the private sectors  and its also for the social economic benefit of the people , we are trying to say revenue generation but we also bear in mind that we need to let Nigerians feel the impact that they have a satellite company . In terms of cost, they would tell you the cost of obtaining fiber and other technology is cheaper but on the long run when you think of all the expense its almost the same thing as having a satellite communication, maybe the only aesthetic is that you have a small dish that you are looking at but maybe the initial cost of infrastructure but the subsequent payment is not much, we work with our channel partners on the small office solutions on the K Band. The equipments are so small so they are not really expensive so you have all the small businesses installing it especially in the northern parts of NIGERIA and we have channel partners focusing in the rebuilding of  north east , we have them already working with us planning to roll out such services and even as an ordinary citizen, if I do have a visa on my own and I want to recall it, all I have to do is  have routers to broadcast and share cost and resell to people around me, so there are different way of recouping whatever investment you have put on the equipment . Nothing is cheap but at the end of the day it’s worth the investment and its worth for you as a person to have a broadband experience in your home.”
The Nigerian Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) is also planning to have a back up Satellite too support the solitary Satellite it has in the orbit. Ms Abimbola Alale opined that the back up satellite will go a,long way in enhancing the country’s broadcast sector showcase her contents to its audience. “It is a back up satellite and people in the broadcast sector might have content they want to broadcast to people and you want to make sure that you have a reliable means of broadcasting your content to your target audience and broadcasters don’t like failure they don’t want excuses from the carrier and the Nigerian communication satellite has one satellite and now we have a minister who understands that we need ICT to drive revenue, increase revenue and one of the things that helps broadcast regulator is [D2H] broadcasting services and in order to be able to render such services you need more than one satellite! And it’s the entire country revenue generation so that broadcasters can have peace of mind. We have a platform in place to assist broadcasters for them to migrate; we are ready for them to migrate.” She concludes.

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