Nigeria’s inactive telephone lines now 97m as VAS operators earn N32b
• 150 digital tech firms set to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030
Out of the about 301.5 million connected telephone lines (GSM) in Nigeria, some 97 million Subscribers Identification Modules (SIM) cards have, however, become inactive, meaning that there are only 204.2 million active users in the country.
The connected lines have largely been activated by the mobile network operators (MNOs), which include MTN, Airtel, Globacom and 9mobile. SIM activations started over two decades now in Nigeria and the period signalled the beginning of the country’s telecoms revolution.
According to analysts, a telephone line becomes inactive if it is not used by the subscriber to make or receive calls and/or access data services for at least 90 days. Slow economic conditions, poor service on that particular network and times, death of the owner, could force a telephone line to become inactive.
IN a related development, the total number of active subscriptions to the various value-added services (VAS) by the end of 2021 stood at 18.3 million, signifying a 46.8 per cent increase from 12,449,828 recorded in 2020.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), which revealed this in a document, informed that the VAS platforms are still underutilized because of the 83.7 million installed capacities as of 2021, which increased from 55.5 million as of 2020.
The VAS licensees provide ancillary telecoms services such as Content Services using Short Code Numbers, Mobile Electricity Service, Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), SMS services, Mobile Banking, Enterprise Bulk Messaging, Transactional Service, Electronic Airtime Distribution, Call Ring Back Tone/Entertainment, and special numbering among others.
According to NCC, these licensees also provide telecommunications services across the 36 states, and in at least each state of the geopolitical zones of the country.
The commission said 36 VAS operators were responsive to the 2021 Year End Network Data questionnaires that it administered. Some of these VAS operators include Gistme Communications Limited; Vastitude Technologies Limited; TXT Light Power Solutions Limited and Payvantage Limited.
Others are Inq. Digital Nigeria (Vodacom Business Africa Limited); IP Integrated Solution Limited; the Outsource Company limited; Alvoice Solutions Limited and Vas2Nets Technologies Limited.
The telecoms regulator puts the total revenue generated by VAS licensees in 2021 at N32, 918,867,894.77 and operated with N11,797,521,180.07. In terms of domestic investment (CAPEX), the commission said VAS players invested N335, 871,200.00 as of the period under review.
The document said as of 2021 the total staff strength of VAS market segment stood at 751 staff. It stressed that Nigerian staff were 734 comprising 526 male and 208 female while the expatriate staff base reported 12 male and five female.
MEANWHILE, 38 of the world’s 150 leading tech companies are on track to becoming carbon neutral by 2030, with several aiming to be carbon negative soon after, according to a report by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA).
The new report, ‘Greening digital companies: Monitoring emissions and climate commitments’, documents the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy use of 150 of the world’s leading tech companies.
The study strives to enable tech companies to adopt best practices, accelerate emissions reduction, and “green” themselves to eliminate carbon dioxide (CO2) and other GHG output from their operations.
The report noted that if other digital companies would emulate those currently leading in the quest for carbon neutrality, it could make information and communication technologies (ICTs) one of the greenest sectors of the global economy, the report asserts.
ITU Secretary-General, Houlin Zhao, said tech companies are an essential part of the global economy, stressing, “This new study serves as a roadmap to drive all these companies towards net-zero emissions. This is the way to ensure today’s digital transformation accelerates climate action – and to do so before it’s too late.”
According to the document, operational GHG emissions among the 150 companies accounted for 239 million tonnes in 2020, equivalent to 0.8 per cent of the world total.
“Yet digital companies – defined as those that produce and sell ICT equipment, operate telecommunication networks, and provide software and other information technology services, including data centres and cloud computing – have also become prominent in the race to eliminate harmful emissions.”