As broadband demands grow, could satellites be part of the answer? Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NigComSat) a satcoms company under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Communications, seems to think so. It recently announced that Nigeria plans to acquire two new satellites by 2025.
According to the Ecofin news agency, the company’s Managing Director Abimbola Alale recently announced that demand for broadband connectivity in Nigeria has been growing and that satellites, along with mobile and fibre, will have a part to play in meeting that demand.
Her comments were made on 16 September at a forum held in Lagos. She said the two new satellites – NigComSat-2 and NigComSat-3 – will replace NigComSat 1-R, which will reach the end of its 15-year life in 2026.
NigComSat’s plan comes at a time when demand for broadband connectivity is growing across the country, especially in rural areas. The Nigerian Communications Commission reported that the number of internet subscribers increased from 135,743,324 in Q1 2020 to 154,437,623 in Q4 2020.
With NigComSat-2 and NigComSat-3, NigComSat will contribute to the federal government's ambitions to increase broadband penetration to 90 percent of the population by 2025. The hope is that the two satellites will also support the country's digital transformation in various sectors, including health, education and public administration.