The Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy has collaborated with global tech giant, Microsoft on a joint project for the roll out of high-speed Airband internet infrastructure across the country.
This was revealed in a tweet by Vice President (VP), Yemi Osinbajo via his official Twitter handle. Speaking on the partnership, the VP said:
This is the outcome of the discussions I held in January 2021 with the Microsoft Corporation President, Mr. Brad Smith. I am very pleased to see that within a very short time, we have moved from ideas to implementation.Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of Nigeria
“Our government is committed to leveraging innovation and technology to bring better outcomes across a wide area of governance concerns,” he added.
The government’s partnership with Microsoft will see the Big Tech company deploy its Micorsoft Airband initiative across the country to deepen internet penetration and connectivity.
The Microsoft Airband leverages the broadcasting frequencies of Television Whites Space (TVWS) devices and other low-cost wireless technologies to make it easier and cheaper for people, especially those in rural and underserved communities, to access the internet and get connected to the digital economy.
The technology is cheaper and faster to deploy than fibre and has the added benefit of being able to travel long distances and through forested terrain.FG/Microsoft Joint statement
Nigeria’s broadband penetration is still at 45% and a significant infrastructure deficit still remains unsolved. Hence, the Microsoft deal is a welcome development for the country’s national digital inclusion goals and internet penetration target.
The number of internet subscribers in Nigeria currently stands 154.3 million, with one-third of the subscriber base residing in Lagos state.
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