Cross River, MTN Sign N1.1b Deal on Broadband Infrastructure

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by crossriverwatch admin
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The Cross River State Government has signed a concession agreement with MTN Communications Nigeria Limited for the provision of 115km of telecommunications cable duct infrastructure for the city of Calabar spanning from Tinapa to Anantigha.

According to the Special Adviser Communication Technology Development Mr Odo Effiong, the system when completed in six to nine months will provide complete access to broadband infrastructure for all residents of the city

Apart from access to broadband the system is also expected to significantly improve the quality of voice services in Calabar as well as make video services a reality over wired and wireless channels.

He said the project is a Public Private Partnership between the Cross River State Government and MTN Communications Limited and is completely privately funded and will cost approximately N1.1 billion to implement.

The infrastructure to be installed includes three telecommunication cable ducts and 96 core fibre optic cables for each partner and managed by both the Cross River State Government and MTN Communications Nigeria Limited.

The infrastructure would enable other service providers and network / broadband users to approach either party to lease infrastructure or services.

Effiong said in addition to this infrastructure, MTN would site an additional 99 Base Stations to improve wireless services in the State in 2013 and similar numbers in 2014 and 2015.

It would also support the development of various third party services enabled by broadband such as city-wide wifi, access to various government services, e-ticketing, smart transport, smart education, smart health, e-tourism and ultimately the creation of Nigeria’s first smart city.

Effiong said telecommunications was now an essential utility secondary only to water, transportation, and power.

He said that broadband infrastructure had been identified as critical to socio-economic development and that broadband was to the information economy what electricity was to the industrial economy.

He stated that studies showed that a 10 per cent increase in broadband in a developing economy resulted in a growth of 1.38 per cent of GDP.

He said the initiative was an important component of the governor’s socio-economic development plan and Calabar becoming the regional business and investment destination of choice.

The Special Adviser said the project was a third of three major collaborative projects including the SmartGov.CRSG project and the Tinapa Knowledge City project that represented investment of about N2.5 billion in the sector in the State.

General Manager, Legal MTN Communications Nigeria Limited, Mrs Oghenerume Rotimi, who signed on behalf of MTN said the initiative was part of their plan to establish a fibre optic network across the country.

Signing as a witness for the State Government was the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General in the state Barrister Attah Ochinke.

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