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More Nigerians make calls as active mobile subscriptions hit 208.6m

By Adeyemi Adepetun
05 September 2022   |   4:09 am
New statistics show that more Nigerians are making calls and surfing the Internet as telecommunications operators activated and reactivated 2.47 million telephone lines in July.


New statistics show that more Nigerians are making calls and surfing the Internet as telecommunications operators activated and reactivated 2.47 million telephone lines in July.

According to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), in the latest industry subscription data released at the weekend, active subscriptions for telecommunications services across mobile networks of MTN, Airtel, Glo, and 9mobile rose to 208.6 million in July, moving from 206.5 million in June.

The data shows that Glo, which recorded the highest gain of 2.1 million subscriptions in the month, drove the increase. In total, the four GSM operators recorded a combined 2.5 million increase in subscriptions in the month under review.

In July, MTN activated 392,440 telephone lines; Airtel 90,955 and 9mobile subscription fell by 63,840.

With the growth recorded by operators, the country’s teledensity, which measures the number of active telephone connections per 100 inhabitants living within an area, also jumped from 108.15 per cent in June to 109.47 per cent in July 2022.

According to NCC, the teledensity is calculated based on a population estimate of 190 million.

Further analysis shows that the mobile network operators gained 13.5 million new subscriptions, a departure from last year, when they lost close to 20 million subscriptions as a result of the government’s ban on new SIM registration between December 2020 and April 2021.

ALSO, in terms of Internet subscriptions, the quartet of MTN, Airtel, Globacom and 9mobile pushed the numbers from 150.7 million in June to 151.4 million by July. Other platforms to access the Internet (Fixed Wired, ISP wired/wireless) added 366,271 to push the figure to 152 million.

Broadband connections also leaped by 310,631, moving from 84.6 million in June to 84.9 million in July.

Largely, MTN, which, on August 24 began a pilot 5G services in Nigeria with the hope of spreading commercial services to Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan Kano, Owerri and Maiduguri by year-end, maintained its dominance of the market with 38 per cent penetration and 79.4 million customers.

Globacom is next with 58.3 million users and 27.9 per cent market reach. Airtel is third with 27.9 per cent reach and 58.2 million users, with 9mobile in fourth position, servicing 12.5 million users and six per cent penetration.

IN a related development, NCC has said that over 50,000 cases of major destruction to telecoms infrastructure and facilities have been reported across the country in the past five years, raising alarm over the implication of these incidents to the quality of telecommunications services.

Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, who disclosed this at the 2022 edition of Youth Civil Society and Stakeholders Summit (YCSSS), which took place at Army Resource Centre, Abuja, expressed worry over how the incidents have continued to affect the Quality of Experience (QoE) of consumers.

Danbatta, in the statement, spoke through the Head, Corporate Communications Unit of the Commission, Mrs. Nnena Ukoha.

He said the negative impacts of incessant vandalism of telecoms equipment, evidenced in fibre cuts, theft of telecoms facilities, like generators at sites, vandalism of base stations, among other vices, have become a major burden on service providers, while telecoms consumers have continued to suffer unwarranted disruptions of hard-earned services.

He said: “The impact of vandalism on infrastructure is felt by all in the quality of services rendered as it results in increasing drop calls, data and Internet connectivity disruptions, aborted and undelivered short messaging services (SMS), as well as countless failed calls.”

He added that considering the fact that the ability to connect and communicate is fundamental to human existence, improvement in businesses processes, government services, education, as well as social and family networking through seamless connections, every community should get involved in protecting the critical infrastructure that makes these services possible.