The door to broadband progress has been kicked wide open in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Several weeks ago we ran a story about Swift’ Networks WiMax trials in the nation’s largest city of Lagos; turns out they’re not the only ones trying to bring the benefit of blazing fast Internet to Africa’s most populous land.
Mobitel, one of Africa’s largest broadband service providers, today announced the launch of their Nigerian WiMax network. After its initial deployment in Lagos, funded by a US$70 Million investment, the company is ready to dole out upwards of around $350 million to further expand their network’s reach within its borders by the end of 2012.
The network has been in the making since March 2010, when Mobitel snagged a slice on the 2.3GHz spectrum from the Nigerian Communications Commission. Mobitel has not pinned all of its hopes on WiMax technology, as the buildup plans call for an eventual switch to LTE, though no time frame is mentioned for the transfer.
It remains to be seen whether Swift Networks is planning a similar buildup and standard switch, but with companies like Beceem (now owned by Broadcom) putting together 4G multi-mode platforms, it’s sure to make the shift an easier option should companies choose flight over fight.