Nigeria’s teledensity nears 100% mark


 *Adds 2.4 million new subscribers by November

THE growth profile of Nigeria’s telecommunications subscribers’ base is on the upswing, as it added additional 2.4 million subscriptions between September and November 2014.

    Indeed, the country’s teledensity currently nears 100 per cent, as it grew from 96 per cent in September to 97.8 per cent in November 2014.

    Teledensity or telephone density is the number of telephone connections for every hundred individuals living within an area. It varies widely across the nations and also between urban and rural areas within a country. Telephone density has significant correlation with the per capita GDP of the area. It is also used as an indicator of economic development of the country or specific region.

   According to statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the country’s total connected lines grew from 184.1 million in September to 186.5 million as at November, while the active lines also moved from 134.5 million to 136.6 million within the same period of review.

   As usual, the quartet of GSM operators, including MTN, Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat continued to dominate the market, recording 182.4 million connected lines and 134 million active subscriptions.

   It was however, a mixed fortune for the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) operators. The CDMA technology, which is majorly been championed by Visafone Communications in Nigeria had 3.7 million connected lines in September but grew to 3.8 million in November 2014. But the active subscriptions fluctuated, recording 2.4 million in September; 2.35 million in October and 2.41 million in November.

   For the fixed wired/wireless operators, it recorded 363, 233 million connected lines but only 183, 555 are active.  

   Though, Nigeria is estimated to have about 180 million people, the country’s telephone subscription base seem to have surpassed the populace. It must however, be said that majority of Nigerians due to the poor telecommunications services, as occasioned by drop calls; unsolicited text messages; connection flaws; illegal credit deductions; incomplete calls among others have increased the profile of the country’s multi-SIM nature, where majority of subscribers operate two to three networks on the go, all because of poor service.

   While commissioning a Base Transceiver Station in Igbo Olodumare late last year, the Minister of Communications Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson, disclosed that about 40 million Nigerians still lack access to basic Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

    With the commissioning of the BTS, Johnson said about 111 communities in South West of Nigeria will be connected to various telephone services in the country.

   The commissioning was one of the several BTS deployed across the South West region by Odu’atel through subsidies provided by the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF).

   Through the BTS commissioning, she said about 111 communities with an estimated population of 664,500 people hitherto without communications systems were now connected to telephony services.

   She disclosed that in the next implementation phase, the USPF plans to support the deployment of more than 200 BTS across the country.

   This, Johnson said will enable more than 300 communities with an estimated population of I.65 million have access to ICTs when the phase is completed.

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