Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman/CEO of NCC

Telecom: Why consumer demand for mobile network hits 800 percent amid pandemic: NCC

*How we sustain telecom services during and post COVID-19 lockdown ─Prof. Umar Danbatta

*High-speed Internet (Broadband connectivity) absolutely crucial for educational, medical institutions and businesses to provide essential services

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As the Commission intensifies efforts at ensuring that quality of telecom services is sustained during and post COVID-19 period, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says demand for mobile network has risen to 800 percent in the country due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, resulting from the unprecedented global health emergency.

Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman (EVC) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NCC, disclosed this during the first virtual edition of the Telecoms Consumer Parliament (VTCP) at the weekend in Abuja, FCT.

According to NCC, the objective of the VTCP is to provide an opportunity for industry stakeholders to have a quick look at how the pandemic is impacting service delivery in the telecommunication industry, which currently provides the digital platform for the economy to remain afloat.

ConsumerConnect reports the NCC EVC, while referencing a report by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), stated that the increase in demand for mobile network services rose to the unprecedented height due to the unprecedented global health emergency.

According to him, the development “is tasking mobile networks and digital platforms to the limit, with some telecom operators and platforms reporting demand spikes as high as 800% since the outbreak of the pandemic in their respective countries.”

Danbatta said the report which centred on the impact of the pandemic on the telecoms sector, indicated that “COVID-19 virus has presented a stress test for Governments worldwide with the Internet playing a crucial role in keeping critical infrastructure and resources connected and available.”

Reliable, high-speed Internet now remains key to ensuring that hospitals and medical institutions have access to global information and resources necessary to fight the virus, he stated.

According to Danbatta, broadband connectivity has proved to be absolutely crucial for educational institutions and businesses to continue to provide essential services.

In the wake of the outbreak of the pandemic in Nigeria, the Federal Government announced different categories of lockdown which make the mobility and social life of citizens hindered, necessitating the need for individuals, businesses and public institutions to rely more on telecommunications to constantly keep in touch with their relatives, friends and more importantly, for running their daily economic activities.

Activities in all sectors were virtually paralysed and later migrated to online following the lockdown down.

All these, he stressed, have made ICT the major driver of growth in every sector now.

He added: “Impact of COVID-19 on Telecoms Service Delivery” is timely and could not have come at a better time than now.”

Danbatta maintained that Commission has not relented in ensuring that the quality of telecom services is sustained during and post COVID-19 period, despite the pandemic and subsequent lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 virus.

The Commission would continue to join hands with the Minister and other stakeholders to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, he assured.

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