The amendment of electoral bill and section 52(2) has generated a lot of argument over the ability of the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC to transmit election results in real time.
Technically, there are 3 types of signals that a telecommunication company would want to transmit which are video, voice and text. Video is the most difficult to transmit because it consumes a lot of data followed by voice and the least of them is text because it takes the lest data.
Secondly there are also 3 vehicles upon which these can be transmitted, Fiber optics, Satellite and broadband. Our fiber coverage is low, our broadband coverage is about 70% but our satellite coverage is 100%. Please note not Nigcomsat but foreign satellites
There are about 178,000 polling units and all these units should transmit result electronically.
Firstly, we should all agree that GSM service is available in all states of the federation including FCT. Therefore, all capital of states are covered, therefore 25% have been covered. The challenge here is how do we connect rural villages for them to be able to transmit live; which is not difficult. This is by creating a last mile solution. The good thing is that the technology provided will only be for election day therefore it will be deplored for same purpose. This will be done by a mixture of broadband and satellite. The way it will work is such that the network provider will provide a handheld gadget with an antenna that will transmit result from every polling station in Nigeria. This can be done by either the Telcos or the contractors. This service will be 100 percent reliant.
Therefore let no one fool us that it is not possible because from technology perspective. it’s easy to deplore and anyone challenging the possibility will not be arguing from sound technology background and knowledge of our telecommunication infrastructure as at today.
The benefit of electronic transmission is to eliminate election rigging, make it easier for people to vote, bring in more voters save the country from unending election tribunals, get results faster, make our elections free and fair and finally strengthen our democracy and eventually save Nigeria.
A telecommunication expert
GMD/CE OF CFL GROUP
An Infrastructure company
Convener of PRONIGERIA GROUP
Omotola is the publisher of politico.ng