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Telecoms consumers to get one gigabyte for N390 by 2025

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Telecommunications subscribers in the country are expected to get one gigabyte (1GB) of data for as low as N390 by 2025.

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umaru Danbatta, dropped the hint during an interactive session with journalists in Lagos yesterday.

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Danbatta, who revealed that active telecoms subscribers rose by two million to hit 207 million in October from 205 million in the previous month, said the N390/1Gig target had been included in the New National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020 to 2025. He assured Nigerians that the commission would do all within its capacity to ensure that the target is met, even before the due date.

According to the NCC chief, between 2015 and now, over 100 million subscribers have been added to the network, indicating that on daily basis, Nigerians are subscribing to telecoms services.

“I think there are expectations from telecoms subscribers, they want to get value for money. They want the NCC to address the issue of data depletion.

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“We have seen data prices coming down reasonably well. We have done a benchmark and found out that the cost of 1Gigabyte of data has come down to about N500, which is more than 50 per cent. This is quite revealing to us. Remember, we have a target of N390 to hit by 2025, and we are almost there. The N390 is what is in the NNBP 2020 to 2025. We need to do a cost-based study because it is much more scientific. Benchmarking is an interim measure, and we are saying that the cost of data has come down to more than 50 per cent it was at the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020. By 2025, it should further come down to N390 per one gigabyte,” he said.

Danbatta promised that the NCC would not for anything jeopardise the interest of subscribers, whom he described as crucial to the business. ‘We will do everything within our power to ensure the quality of experience (QoE) equals the quality of service (QoS).”

The EVC said the commission was also looking at ways of addressing the issue of infrastructure deficit in the sector, which has been hindering service expansion and quality.

“We still have clusters of access gaps in served and underserved areas of the country. People in rural communities are simply not enjoying the services that are obtainable in the urban areas. I have often said that connectivity is key to our development. So, we need to act quickly, consistent with the policy of the government that targets about 120,000km of fibre deployed in the next four years, and about one and a half year is gone. So far, we have 54,000km of fibre deployed, we still have more work to do, especially in underserved and unserved areas.”

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