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Only 2.8% of subscribers are post-paid users as data consumption soars

By Adeyemi Adepetun
09 September 2021   |   4:14 am
Total prepaid mobile voice subscriptions increased from 179, 249, 965 in December 2019 to 199, 043, 508 in December 2020, indicating an increase of 11.04 per cent in the period.

• NCC calls for stakeholders’ input on three new telecoms regulations
Total prepaid mobile voice subscriptions increased from 179, 249, 965 in December 2019 to 199, 043, 508 in December 2020, indicating an increase of 11.04 per cent in the period.

Similarly, postpaid mobile voice subscriptions increased from 5,208,832 in December 2019 to 5,450,774 as of December 2020, indicating an increase of 4.64 per cent growth within the period under review.

Postpaid mobile service is provided by a prior arrangement with a mobile network operator. The user in this situation is billed after the fact according to their use of mobile services at the end of each month.

The 2020 Subscriber/Network Data report from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), which contained the statistics, explained that it means about 97.1 per cent of mobile subscribers are prepaid users while only about 2.8 per cent are postpaid subscribers in the country.

The Northwest and Southwest zones recorded the highest number of subscriptions in the zones for telephone services, while the North-East zone recorded the least number of subscriptions due to insecurity in the zone that hampered investment.

The data revealed that 29 per cent of the active subscription is in the Southwest zone, while the Northwest has 19 per cent of the active voice subscription, the Northeast has the least percentage of active voice subscription of 10 per cent.

Also, the report informed that in 2020, data consumption rose by 66.5 per cent on a year-on-year basis as the total volume of data consumed by subscribers increased from 123,648 Terabytes in December 2019 to 205,880.4 Terabytes one year after.

The increase in data usage is directly linked to the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted normal activities and most functions had to be held virtually including schools, corporate meetings, among others.

FURTHER analysis of the statistics revealed the number of mobile-cellular machine to machine subscriptions that are assigned for use in machines and devices for the exchange of data between networked devices, and are not part of a consumer subscription.

As such, the statistics disclosed that as of 2020, the number of mobile-cellular machine-machine subscriptions as reported by MTN, Glo, Airtel and EMTS was 1, 217,584. EMTS had the highest number of machine-to-machine subscriptions with 454,001; GLO had 414,081 while Airtel recorded 349,502 M2M subscriptions.

Dongle usage on the networks, NCC explained that this is subscription to mobile broadband services, which allow access to the open Internet via hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) and do not include voices services, such as subscriptions that offer mobile broadband as a standalone service like mobile broadband subscriptions for data-cards, USB modem/dongle and tablets.

According to the report, MTN, GLO, Airtel and EMTS had a total number of 513, 346 data-only mobile-broadband subscriptions (Dongles) as of December 2020.

In summary, Airtel, Glo, MTN, and EMTS each recorded 322, 273; 92,531; 79,718 and 18,824 dongle subscriptions.

MEANWHILE, the NCC has called for stakeholders’ input on three new regulations in the telecommunications industry.

The regulatory exercise is in line with the Nigerian Communications Act 2003, which further empowers the regulator to hold a stakeholders’ input on new regulations in the industry.

To this end, NCC has uploaded on its website, the following draft regulatory instruments for stakeholders’ comments: Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulations; SIM Replacement Guidelines, and Spectrum Trading Guidelines.

In a statement, the Director of Public Affairs at NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, said the public inquiry from stakeholders to be held virtually will be conducted in the following orde: Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulation, SIM Replacement Guidelines and Spectrum Trading Guidelines, all on October 5.

NCC noted that following Section 57 of the Act, Public Inquiries in respect of the above-mentioned draft regulatory instruments have been scheduled to hold virtually at 11am on the dates stated in the table above.

“Interested stakeholders are by this notice invited to make written submissions on the subject and participate in the public inquiries. Details of the virtual meeting will be forwarded to interested attendees before the public inquiries”, he said.