Nigeria is expected to acquire new satellites in another four years for maximum coverage of the country, this is even as it has been revealed that through a platform invented by Nigeria Communication Satellite (NigComSat) Limited, the country saved over N8 billion in capital flights.
Though, still silent about cost and modalities the new satellite acquisitions will take, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, NigComSat, Dr. Abimbola Alale, who disclosed this, stressed that Nigeria will acquire more satellites between now and 2025, “with the NigComSat-2 (High Throughput Satellite) due for launch in 2023, while NigComSat-3 will be launched in 2025.”
Alale revealed this in Lagos at the Stakeholders’ Forum 2021 with the theme: “NigComSat: The Present and the Future,” organized by NigComSat.
She said the acquisitions of new satellites will not only inspire confidence in customers and channel partners but will also place NigComSat Limited in the front line of communication satellite operators with a fleet of satellites in orbit.
Alale said to provide advanced satellite communication solutions as modest contributions to the nation’s digital economy, service infrastructure cannot be overemphasised.
In lieu of this, she informed that NigComSat, in its bid to achieve its ambition as the leading satellite communication solutions provider in Nigeria and Africa, obtained approval early 2020 to form two subsidiary companies (SUBCOs) which is the Satellite Infrastructure Company (SIC). The firm she said, is saddled with the responsibility of providing satellite upstream services such as transponder leasing, In-Orbit (IOT) services, and Carrier Spectrum Management (CSM) services.
The second, according to her is the Satellite Broadcasting and Broadband Company (SBBC), which is to provide satellite downstream services such as broadband Internet services, and broadcasting (DTH) services among others.
Noting that quality of service and customers’ experience are very important in service delivery, she said NigComSat has acquired the latest Dialog Hub with 51F for the satellite broadband KA services as well as building a stronger relationship with channel partners, stressing that the firm’s business processes are seamless in accordance with International Standard Organisation (ISO) certification.
According to her, NigComSat as one of the key players recognised in the Nigeria National Broadband Plan (NNPB 2020-2025), has trained 600 youths across the six geo-political zones in the country, including Lagos, Kano, Gombe, Bauchi, Plateau, Rivers, Anambra, Niger, Kebbi, Akwa-Ibom, Abia and Ekiti states.
She said these youths have been equipped with tools to participate in growing the digital economy and timely achievement of NigComSat’s roles specified in the NNBP 2020 TO 2025.
While introducing NigComSat, the Company Secretary, Alma Okpalefe, said the firm, which was established in 2006, saved the country N8 billion in capital flight through the indigenously developed E-NHIS platform.
The Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo, urged NigComSat to do more awareness about its operations in the country and other parts of Africa.
Adebayo, who recalled that the de-orbiting of the satellite from space in 2008 was not properly managed, said, “because nobody later came out to inform us that the satellite has been replaced. So, I think, the management of NigComSat should do more to educate the public.”
According to him, NigComSat would play a huge role in the deployment of 5G in the country, stressing that the firstmile aspect of deployment would require satellite, while the last mile would go with fibre.
Representing the Executive Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Director of Spectrum Administration at the Commission, Toyin Asaju, said NCC is proud of NigComSat, and ready to collaborate with it for satellite deployment.
Representing Corps Commandant, Army Signals, Brigadier O.Ojutaiye, informed that NigComSat, has been providing satellite communication to the leadership of the force in the fight against insurgency.