The Federal Executive Council has approved the concession of research and development on satellite technology and equipment for the provision of cost-effective satellite broadband service to rural Nigeria.
The project which is over a 15-year period will be carried out by the National Space Research and Development agency, (NASRDA), in partnership with a leading global satellite communication equipment developer, Gilat Satellite Network and Gleo technology.
In a statement, the Head, Media and Corporate Communications of National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Dr. Felix Ale, said the project is basically on the design, finance, building, operation and transfer of a fast, affordable, reliable and high-speed fixed broadband internet based on advanced satellite technology, through public-private partnership.
This will include the deployment of a minimum of 7,000 units of Very-Small-Aperture-Terminal (VSAT’s) all over Nigeria.
The project was necessitated by the interest of the Gilat Satellite Network in commercialization of some NASRDA research results on the atmospheric effect on radio wave propagation across Nigeria.
The results of the researches have assisted Gilat Satellite Network to develop the new generation of communication equipment which addressed the challenges of rain attenuation on radio signals which is a major challenge to microwave satellite communication especially at frequencies above gigahertz.
he project is designed as part of the solution towards meeting Nigeria’s aspiration of providing up to ninety percent (90%) of Nigerians with fast, affordable, reliable, uninterrupted and high-speed fixed broadband internet at a price not more than three hundred and ninety naira (N390) per Gigabyte (1GB) of data by the year 2025.
This according to the statement is in fulfillment of Presidential executive order No. 5 of 2018 for the planning and execution of projects promotion of Nigerian content in contracts, science, engineering and Technology as well as the national broadband plan 2020-25.
In addition the project will increase the fixed broadband penetration for Nigeria from its current abysmal level of Zero point two percent (0.2%) to a minimum of thirty percent (30%) as well as to the discounted service price being offered by the project in solving the problem of high cost of infrastructure needed for the provision of broadband by elimimating the capex investment typically needed by customers.
An integral deliverable of the project is the transfer of technology to Nigeria through NASRDA in the area of communication equipment designed and manufactured by Gilat Satellite Network while additional benefits to the nation will include the establishment of local communication equipment manufacturing facilities with an assembly line and a communication equipment research centre.
This will help in job creation, closing technology gaps, increase revenue generation to the nation and enhance Nigeria’s global recognition in the field of communication equipment manufacturing for improved security across Nigeria.