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High internet speed, job creation… how Google Equiano Cable will impact Nigerian economy

High internet speed, job creation… how Google Equiano Cable will impact Nigerian economy
April 22
14:46 2022

On Thursday, Google announced the arrival of its Equiano submarine cable in Lagos, Nigeria.

The subsea cable, which offers a fifth-generation (5G) mobile service, will run from Portugal along the West Coast of Africa connecting Europe to Togo, Nigeria, Namibia, South Africa, and Saint. Helena.

In a statement, Juliet Ehimuan, director, Google West Africa, said the Equiano would be the first subsea cable to incorporate optical switching at the fibre-pair level, rather than the traditional approach of wavelength-level switching. 

“This greatly simplifies the allocation of cable capacity, giving us the flexibility to add and reallocate it in different locations as needed,” she said.

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The Equiano submarine is not the first in Nigeria. About five subsea internet cables from big companies like MainOne, MTN, and Globacom already exist in the country.

Nigeria also has plans to deploy a 5G network to improve connectivity, targeting at least 1 billion devices across the country.

The arrival of the Equiano submarine cable promises to revolutionise the internet experience for the over 200 million population and businesses in the country in many different ways.

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INTERNET SPEED

With the planned deployment of 5G in Nigeria, the Google submarine cable guarantees a significant boost in speed while surfing the Internet. Internet speed would move from 14Mbps to 77Mbps, according to a document by Google.

Google said the subsea cable is a state-of-the-art infrastructure based on space-division multiplexing (SDM) technology, with approximately 20 times more network capacity than the last cable built to serve this region.

“Equiano’s arrival in Nigeria is expected to result in faster internet speeds and significantly improve people’s experiences while online. Internet speeds in Nigeria are expected to grow almost six-fold by 2025, and retail internet prices are forecasted to decline by 21 per cent over the same period,” Ehimuan added.

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DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

Nigeria has been making efforts to digitisation through the NIN-SIM policy, but progress has been tardy. It is believed that the Equiano submarine cable would augment such efforts.

According to Ehimuan, since 2017, the Nigerian government has been actively working on its digital transformation programs as part of plans to grow its domestic sectors. These initiatives have proven pivotal to the success of many industries in the country, especially the startup space. 

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In the last five years, startups in Nigeria have produced five unicorns (startups valued at over a billion dollars).

“Businesses are also benefiting significantly from the usage of internet platforms, with “total e-commerce annual expenditure predicted to climb to $75 billion by 2025, up from its current projection of $12 billion,” she said.

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The development is expected to translate to a growth of about 525 per cent over the next three years in the e-commerce sub-sector.

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JOB CREATION AND INCREASE IN GDP

Recently, Google began the implementation of a 7.5 per cent VAT charge for its Nigerian customers. It also plans to help content creators on YouTube monetise their skills to solve unemployment.

In effect, this would support Nigeria’s economic diversification plans and improve the contribution of technology to its gross domestic product (GDP).

“By 2025, real GDP in Nigeria is forecast to be USD 10.1 billion higher than it otherwise would have been without Equiano and that the cable would indirectly generate roughly 1.6 million new jobs between 2022 and 2025,” Ehimuan further said, citing a study conducted by Google.

“We are partnering with multiple key telecom players, including our landing party, the West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC), where Equiano lands to ensure that the cable can reach more businesses and end-users across Nigeria and the African continent more broadly.”

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