Nigerian Minister of Communications impressed with Indian Telecom Innovations
Assures of deployment of India telecom innovations in Nigeria
Delegation pays visit to innovation-driven Digital Village Karenda, Alwar
New Delhi, 27 April 2016; The Hon. Minister of Communications of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Barr Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shittu led a delegation of officials from the Ministry of Communications of Nigeria to India during the last weekend to observe the advancements made in the country in the telecommunications sector.
The delegation included Dr. Vincent Olatunji (Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency), Mr. Abdullah Binuyo (SA Technical to the Minister of Communications) and Mr. Salisu Kaka (Chief Science Officer, National Information Technology Development Agency). During the three-day trip, the Minister visited the telecom sites deployed by Vihaan Networks Limited. The three sites installed in Alwar district, 70 Kms from Delhi, have turned the three villages into complete digital villages through providing wireless broadband connection to residences, villagers’ mobile phones and most importantly, the Government School.
The Hon’ble Telecom Minister said, “We would be delighted to see the deployment of the VNL towers in Nigeria before the end of 2016.”
On this occasion, Mr. Rajeev Mehrotra, Chairman, Vihaan Network Limited said, “Our telecom deployment in rural areas, R&D centre and manufacturing facility were highly appreciated by the officials of Ministry of Telecommunications of Federal Republic of Nigeria. We are interested to work in the African continent as we observe similarities between the terrain and challenges being faced by companies in Africa and India.”
Commenting on the future course of action, he added, “The deployment of our solutions in Africa will be a game-changer. A R&D centre will also be set-up in Nigeria to impart technology training to the local engineers.”
The telecom equipment deployment at the three villages has turned them into digital villages. The children at the village have most benefitted from the wireless broadband as the school uses the high-speed internet connection to download the latest digital multimedia content to be used for teaching at the school.
The telecom infrastructure deployed at the village has been designed, developed and manufactured in India by VNL. This telecom equipment deployed at these sites is energy efficient and consumes less than 15% of the electricity consumed by conventional telecom equipment, thus enabling the use of solar panels to power the complete tower. This deployment is the Proof of Concept of the VNL’s equipment that has turned the three villages into digital villages by overcoming of challenges of last-mile connectivity.
The Nigerian delegation also visited the Manufacturing Facility of VNL at Manesar. The minister and other officials were very impressed at the state-of-the-art facility developed by the Indian company that is most suitable to their requirements of low energy consumption, easy deployment and simple maintenance.
The Hon. Minister commended this deployment and elicited his interest in replicating this model in his country that suits the requirement of operating in the terrain marred by lack of connectivity and inconsistent power supply. Another member of the delegation, Mr. Salisu Kaka, Director General (NITDA) said that this innovation is laudable, and, if implemented in Nigeria, it will enhance the skills of Nigerian engineers through technology transfer to make it a knowledge-based economy and develop an eco-system can be built around the innovation.
An initial understanding has been reached at between the Nigerian ministry officials and the VNL team after the visit to the digital village and the manufacturing facility for deployment of this technology and equipment in Nigeria
The Hon. Minister’s vision is to increase the broadband penetration in Nigeria by three times within the next three years. The current broadband penetration of Nigeria is 7%, which the minister wants to be increased to over 21%. He further remarked that this revolution should be led by clean energy systems that have least impact on the environment. In Nigeria with six geopolitical zones and 774 local governments, with projection of creating an average of ten digital village sites in a local government will result in the creation of 7,740 sites across Nigeria within the period of three years. The Hon. Minister is also looking forward to funding from the India Government for the innovative project.
VNL looks forward to working with the Nigerian local partners and implement these clean energy driven telecommunications solutions in the country after an MOU is signed that will be executed shortly.
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