Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.


Executive Interview: Olusola Teniola, President of ATCON

Article Image
With just a few weeks to go until the annual Nigeria Com 2018 event opens its doors, Connecting Africa is speaking to some of the key figures shaping Nigeria's telecoms and technology sectors.

We spoke exclusively with Olusola Teniola, President of ATCON (Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria), about collaboration in the Nigerian communications services market and addressing current connectivity challenges.

Connecting Africa: ATCON brings together companies across the telecoms sector in Nigeria. Why is collaboration in this way so important to the industry?

Olusola Teniola: ATCON is now 25 years old and was originally formed by a small group of experts in 1993 to address common issues that were topical at that time. Collaboration amongst our members is fundamental to our success and drives the issues that are relevant today. With US$70 billion invested to date in this industry since 2001, it is essential that this collaboration is further strengthened to protect these investments.

CA: What is one particular technology or development in telecoms people should be keeping an eye on at the moment?

OT: Active sharing -- both in terms of national roaming at the RAN level, and [in terms of] optical fiber networks -- are particular near-term themes that the Nigerian telco industry needs to closely address. Alongside these themes are the adoption of analytics, big data and AI to drive new revenue and digitalise telcos' business models.

CA: What do you consider to be the most pervasive challenge to connectivity across Nigeria and where do you think the solutions to this challenge could lie?

OT: The input costs associated with covering this vast country of an estimated 180 million people are a challenge to any single operator. Firstly, poor infrastructure in rural areas in the hinterland makes it almost impossible to justify a business case that supports any solo deployments, and secondly, digital literacy is very low. Government interventions to address these input costs are being explored and community-based networks may serve as alternatives to the dependencies on current providers reaching these areas.

CA: What excites you most about working in the African telecoms sector?

OT: Personally, I have had the opportunity to work in the UK, Europe and US during my career and nothing compares to the sheer challenge of working in an emerging market like Africa. There is never a dull moment and one's impact is felt more in Africa than elsewhere.

CA: What is your key message at Nigeria Com this year?

OT: My key message for Nigeria Com would be to increase collaboration that seeks to push forward an increased penetration of 3G, 4G and fiber networks to increase our broadband penetration beyond 21%.

Join Olusola Teniola at Nigeria Com 2018, where he will be joining our panel discussion on 'Strengthening urban connectivity for fast, consistent broadband access.' Learn more about the event.

— The staff, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub


Hot startup of the month: Pan-African fintech KamaPay

This month's hot startup is pan-African fintech KamaPay, which helps individuals and businesses make cross-border payments on the continent.


Afretec awards $3.3M in grants to African research teams

The African Engineering and Technology Network (Afretec) has awarded grants worth $300,000 each to 11 university research teams across Africa to advance digital technologies.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Sponsored video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Flash poll

All polls

Africa Tech Perspectives


Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.


Challenges and opportunities for women's tech careers

A new survey reveals that COVID-19, the cost-of-living crisis, skills shortages and a lack of mentorship have negatively affected women's career development over the past two years.


Survey: Opportunities for Women in Tech

Take our new survey for women across Asia, Europe and Africa looking at the biggest challenges and opportunities for women-led enterprises and trends in tech careers for women.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Upcoming events

London Tech Week
June 13-16, 2023
Queen Elizabeth II Centre, Broad Sanctuary, London SW1P 3EE
Cybertech Africa 2023
August 1-2, 2023
Kigali Convention Center, Kigali, Rwanda
Africa Tech Festival, Home of AfricaCom and AfricaTech
November 13-16, 2023
CTICC, Cape Town
More Upcoming events

Guest Perspectives


Omdia View: February 2023

By Omdia Analysts

In February 2023 key events in the Middle East and Africa included a major Internet project for Africa's underserved by Liquid Intelligent Technologies and Microsoft as well as a 5G launch in Tanzania – that and more in this month's Omdia View.


Omdia View: July 2022

By Omdia Analysts

Kenya and Zambia move towards 5G with new spectrum allocations while Tunisie Telecom plans to shut down its 3G network - that and more in this month's Omdia View.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up