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Telcos record 2.27m new subscribers, NCC licenses 20 ISPs

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Prof Danbatta, EVC NCC. Photo: TWITTER/NGCOMCOMMISSION

Amid complaints of falling telephony standard in the country, about 2.27 million new subscribers were added to the telecoms network in September.

Telephone users still contend with an increase in drop calls, illegal credit deductions, unsolicited short message service (SMS), among others.

But the subscribers’ statistics released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday for the month of September showed that MTN, Globacom, Airtel, and 9Mobile collectively increased their user base.

Though MTN announced deactivating about 600,000 customers with improper Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards between August and September following the government’s directive, it remained the largest operator in the country with 65 million customers and 36.5 per cent market share.

However, Globacom returned to its second position after few months of displacement by Airtel. It now has 49 million customers and 27.51 per cent penetration.

Airtel is third with 48.9 million users and 27.34 per cent market share. 9Mobile is fourth with 15 million subscribers and 8.75 per cent market penetration.

Further analysis of the statistics showed that Nigeria is just one million away from hitting the 180 million mark. Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) active users increased from 176.9 million in August to 179 million in September. This showed a 1.20 per cent growth in the country’s teledensity. It rose from 92.67 per cent in August to 93.87 per cent in September.

The statistics also showed that within the period under review, about 187,287 new internet users came on board as the number increased from 122.9 million in August to 123.2 million in September.

The country’s broadband penetration also leaped by 0.3 per cent. It rose from 35.10 per cent to 35.40 per cent, hitting 67.5 million.

Meanwhile, as part of efforts to increase internet penetration, which Internetworldstat puts at 61 per cent of the estimated 200 million people in the country, the NCC has licensed about 20 new Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

Several ISPs had closed down owing to the challenges of the country’s market. These challenges include but not limited to serious pressure from mobile network operators over the years; increasing capital and operational expenditure.

Meanwhile subscribers have urged service providers to improve the quality of both voice and data services.

According to a subscriber of the four major Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in the country, Babajide Odunla, the services have seriously gone down.

“I cannot pin-point any of the operators that is unique in terms of service delivery. They are all the same,” he said.

While assuring of improving services, the chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo, appealed to federal and states governments to assist in ending poor services in the industry.


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