Why MainOne and digital infrastructure in Nigeria matter

Dec 21, 2021|Gbemisola Alonge

My earliest memory of frustrations with the Nigerian internet started around 2006 or 2007. During school holidays, my brother and I attempted to download as many songs as possible from the internet to avoid missing out on the latest hits.  

But it was no easy feat. Downloading one 5MB song took at least three hours. I lived in Akwa-Ibom, which probably contributed to the download time, but the internet situation in Nigeria was not exactly great.

Some takeaways:

  • Nigeria saw significant growth in its internet bandwidth capacity after deploying submarine fibre optic cables in 2010, which induced the expansion of the digital economy.

  • Connecting the fibre optic cables within the country remains a huge gap that can only be filled when deployment costs are reduced. 

  • Following Equinix's MainOne acquisition, we anticipate a growth in data centres, another critical infrastructure for the digital economy.

Imagine what a disaster communication would have been if a global pandemic like we are experiencing happened back in 2006. Granted, many organisations we rely on today didn't exist, and we're much more dependent on internet communication today. Still, Nigeria would have been worse off if we didn't have today's communication infrastructure. 

These days, things are very different; you can download a 5MB file in seconds, at least in most parts of urban Nigeria. This is primarily because of better digital infrastructure, which has expanded the digital economy; from e-commerce to digital payments, fintech, digital media and much more. Without the current digital infrastructure, you'd probably struggle to read this article or any other Stears Business article.

But what digital businesses need to operate goes beyond basic internet connectivity to more complex infrastructure like data centres, which we'll explore in this article.

Let's start with the internet connection.

A critical piece of infrastructure required for

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