GSMA Calls on Nigerian Government to Unlock Economic Growth by Supporting Mobile Broadband Rollout

By Gsma, PRNE
Monday, April 4, 2011

Government action required to meet high consumer and business demand for Mobile Broadband

LAGOS, Nigeria, April 5, 2011 - The GSMA, which represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide,
today called on the Nigerian government to unlock potential NGN862 billion of
GDP growth by 2015 by supporting the rollout of Mobile Broadband across the

At a press conference in Lagos this morning, Ross Bateson, Special
Government Advisor, GSMA, outlined the findings of a new independent report
by analyst firm Analysys Mason and called on the Nigerian government to:

    - Unlock the 2.6GHz spectrum quickly to support the high demand for
      Mobile Broadband in urban areas;
    - Release the digital dividend spectrum to deliver broadband services to
      rural areas; and
    - Reduce the 35 per cent tax level faced by Nigerian mobile operators, a
      tax which is double the global average.

According to the study, only 6 per cent of all Nigerians currently have
access to broadband services, and 74 per cent of those do so through Mobile
Broadband. There is little fixed broadband connectivity outside of Lagos, and
even in Nigerian cities, most cyber cafes now connect to the internet using
wireless services. It is widely acknowledged that mass-market broadband
availability will only be possible using mobile technologies, and this report
highlights the steps the Nigerian government must take to promote Mobile
Broadband growth.

Bateson said: "It is essential that the new Nigerian government acts
quickly to support Mobile Broadband expansion, as failure to do so could
hinder the country's social and economic growth. Not only could the country
realise as much as NGN862 billion of incremental GDP, but people of all ages
and livelihoods would benefit from the vast amount of information and
opportunities Mobile Broadband can unlock."

The study found that Mobile Broadband could potentially contribute more
than 1 per cent of GDP, or 1.7 per cent of non-oil GDP, as soon as 2015 and
will facilitate much needed diversification of the economy. According to the
report, government support for Mobile Broadband services could help deliver
significant advantages to the wider wireless ecosystem and the way in which
other sectors use the internet:

    - 55 per cent annual growth would be seen from the online retail
      industry, growing from NGN4.5bn in 2010 to 44.9bn in 2015;
    - The financial services industry's benefit from broadband would grow by
      95 per cent CAGR, as a result of mobile access to bank accounts and
      money transfer services, from NGN0.6bn in 2010 to 16.8bn in 2015;
    - The use of the internet and mobile to deliver of social services,
      including healthcare and education, would generate growth of 70 per
      cent CAGR, from NGN2.2bn to 30.3bn in 2015; and
    - The overall corporate market, especially agriculture and utilities,
      would experience a 55 per cent annual growth rate through the provision
      of services online, from NGN3.6bn in 2010 to 32.1bn in 2015.

Wider availability of Mobile Broadband could also vastly improve overall
industrial productivity through improvements in business processes. A 73 per
cent annual increase in the working population with access to Mobile
Broadband, reaching 5.2 million users by 2015, will deliver an additional
NGN140 billion to the Nigerian economy each year.

Bateson concluded: "Mobile is the most cost-effective way of delivering
broadband services in Nigeria. Nigeria already has advanced mobile networks,
such as Glo's recently launched LTE network, and has experienced significant
take-up of HSPA Mobile Broadband. The laying of submarine data cables between
Lagos and Europe has provided much of the international backhaul needed, but
mobile is vital in providing 'last mile' connectivity to consumers,
especially in rural areas. However, without proper spectrum allocation in
line with internationally harmonised band plans and broader government
support, it will not be possible to realise the full potential of Mobile

Notes to editors

*ITU Option 1 (ITU-R M.1036-3), for 2.6GHz spectrum allocation dictates
that 2 X 70 MHz FDD (2500 MHz - 2570 MHz paired with 2620 MHz - 2690 MHz) be
allocated to Mobile Broadband deployment, and 50 MHz is allocated to TDD
(2570 MHz - 2620 MHz).

About the GSMA

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Uniting
nearly 800 of the world's mobile operators and more than 200 companies in the
broader mobile ecosystem, the GSMA is focused on innovating, incubating and
creating new opportunities for its membership and driving the growth of the
mobile industry.

For more information, please visit Mobile World Live, the online portal
for the mobile communications industry, at or
the GSMA corporate website at

Alima Atta on behalf of the GSMA, +234-1-474-1223; 898-2587, alima.atta at

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