Written by Sarah NEGEDU

Mobile penetration: Nigeria records additional 3.1m active lines in October

An additional 3,180,525 active telephone lines were recorded in the country’s phone subscribers’ data in October 2018 alone.

The latest Subscriber/Operator Data published by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, shows that active telephone lines in Nigeria increased from 162,058,918 in September to 165,239,443 in October 2018.

Of the 165,239,443 active numbers, the data shows that the Global System for Mobile communication network recorded 164,865,417 in the month under review. The report added that the GSM network had an increase of 3,179,670 customers as against 161,685,747 recorded in September.

According to NCC, Code Division Multiple Access operators have 126,032 active subscribers in October, hence, having a decrease of 237 from the 126,269 customers in September. Meanwhile, Fixed Wired network had 108,997 active users in October, showing a decrease of 1,796 from the 110,793 subscribers recorded in September.

Voice Over Internet Protocol operators had 112,132 active users in October, showing an increase of 2,888 subscribers, compared with 109,244 users the VOIP service providers recorded in September.

NCC said that the teledensity of the telecommunications industry in October was 118.03, giving an increase of 2.27 from the 115.76 recorded in September.

Teledensity is defined as the number of active telephone connections per one hundred inhabitants living within an area.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has begun regulatory and policy framework that will enable the deployment of 5G network by 2020.

Executive Vice -Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, told newsmen that the country is ready for the roll out of 5G connectivity, as 5G trials had started at the Eko Atlantic city in Lagos.

Five G technology stands for fifth generation wireless system that has the capacity to offer subscribers incredible broadband speed. It is expected to drive applications such as driverless cars and Internet of things.

Speaking at a sensitization workshop organized by the Global System for Mobile Association, GSMA, in collaboration with NCC, Danbatta said, “We are getting ready. 2020 will determine whether Nigeria will join other nations to roll out some 5G services or not. We will see. It all depends on readiness of the operators. The 5G spectrum bands will not be assigned to any operator for the deployment of any other services except 5G.”

He added that three spectrums – 26GHz, 38GHz and 42GHz – had been reserved for use in the roll out of the advanced technology.

The GSMA identified modernised regulation and policy reform as an important enabler for boosting Nigeria’s digital economy and accelerating Internet access for millions through increased mobile broadband penetration.

The association, in its ‘Spotlight on Nigeria: Delivering a Digital Future’, reports that the country had witnessed the creation of nearly 500,000 direct and indirect jobs from the growth of the digital economy.

GSMA’s Head of Sub-Saharan Africa, Akinwale Goodluck, while presenting the report said, “Mobile connectivity has already improved the welfare of millions of Nigerians, opening the door to new digital possibilities and powering the country’s economic development.”

He said for Nigeria to take full advantage of the next phase of its digital transformation, “it’s vital that collaboration between industry and government enables the right policy environment for millions more to benefit from ultra-fast mobile broadband.”



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