With 147 million mobile-phone subscribers in Nigeria as at the latest figure made public by the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), companies are tapping into the country’s potential as a data market. One of such companies is MainOne, a leading provider of innovative telecom services and network solutions for businesses in West Africa, which intends to double its investment on broadband infrastructure in the next five years.
Ms. Funke Opeke, chief executive officer of MainOne, said the funding may come from additional shareholder equity, loans or through a bond sale within the next five years. “MainOne, in the last five years, has invested about $300 million (N99.5 trillion) in the region, targets the expansion of its data centres and submarine cable infrastructure in Cameroon, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria as more companies move their business model online,” Opeke said. Nigeria wants to increase its broadband penetration five-fold from 4 percent of the population, according to its National Broadband Plan for 2013-2018. “When you look at where the market opportunities exist in West Africa, I think if we have Nigeria, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, we have probably covered 60 to 75 percent of the market,” Opeke said.
Speaking to journalists recently as part of activities on the company’s fifth year anniversary, Opeke said MainOne has overtime evolved from a submarine cable operator to becoming a full-service business-to-business communications services provider.
She stated that within its five years of operation, the company had made further investments in growing directly and through partnerships its fibre terrestrial network and POPs across the region and opened a Tier III Data Centre, MDX-I, which is the first of its kind for the region in Lagos earlier this year.
By Pita Ochai