Friday, January 8, 2010

Internet revolution in Nigeria

Despite the high cost of internet access in Africa, bandwidth to Africa is expected to grow dramatically as the continent is gaining internet connectivity faster than any other region in the world. Nigeria was able to boost its online population, raising its status to having the most internet users in Africa. Internet connectivity is also spreading to smaller Nigerian cities and rural areas via innovative technologies. This surge in internet usage is attributed to Horizon Wireless‘ experimental broadband internet project that uses WiMAX to provide Nigerians with affordable internet access. The internet landscape in Nigeria is fast changing; Ten years ago, a public cyber cafe used to be the only access individuals had to the internet, now there are internet service providers (ISPs) in various shades and sizes, delivering direct access to individuals and businesses on a variety of platforms. CDMA-based providers are upgrading their networks to the more advanced EVDO technology. GSM operators who were initially reluctant to tap into this area are now aggressively marketing internet services as part of their offerings. Internet access is fast becoming a commodity item in Nigeria. The size of Nigeria's population allows for much growth in the sector. Investment opportunities lie in areas such as internet access infrastructure; ICT applications for government and educational institutions; Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services; and developing online payment solutions.
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