Now, USPF has unveiled a new Strategic Management Plan (SMP) 2013-2017 saying it will target within the next five years, 40 per cent of the rural communities not yet covered by any of the telecommunications service providers through the provision of fibre optic cables as well as provide 5,000 base transceiver stations (BTSs) through subsidy allocation to telecoms operators.
Maikano disclosed that to achieve the new targets, USPF would, in the next two weeks, come up with Requests for Proposals (RFPs) from telecoms operators that would drive the infrastructure deployment, stressing that the Fund would ensure there is transparency in the bidding process. USPF's new operating model includes connectivity and access to ensure sustainability of the rural access.
According to Maikano, USPF would begin work soon to facilitate the building of new base transceiver stations in rural communities to provide service to undeserved and unserved areas of the country with 1,000
What operators have invested
A cursory look at private sector investments showed that telecoms operators have deployed huge funds to roll out their networks across the country despite enormous resources warehoused USPF to take telecom services to the rural areas. The USPF monies was intended to assist all telecom operators to rollout faster in the hinterlands and difficult terrains but till date, the funds have been underutilized by the telecom regulator while NCC continue to blame operators for poor telecommunications quality of service (QoS).
Investments in the sector reached
Local and foreign investments have catapulted the telecom sector to add more than 94 million subscribers from about 450,000 lines at the beginning of year 2000 ensuring massive deployments of microwave and terrestrial fibre optic backbones infrastructure, base stations, call centres and warehouses scattered across the country by operators using different technologies.
By the end of 2010, 65 Nigerians out of every 100 had phones. A few international agencies and institutions have invested in companies operating in the Nigerian telecoms industry; for instance, the
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