TELECOMMUNICATION operators activated additional 953,192 Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards in February to push active telephone lines in the country to 227 million from 325 million connected lines since the telecoms revolution began in Nigeria. The new figure was a slight departure from the 226 million recorded in the first month of the year.
This new industry statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), released Monday, ensured that the country’s teledensity leaped by 0.5 per cent, to move from 119.5 per cent in January to 119 per cent by the end of February. Teledensity is the number of active telephone connections per 100 inhabitants living within an area.
The 227 million, according to NCC, was the combination of services from GSM, Fixed Wired/Wireless and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). As of January, penetration on these gateways showed that Mobile (GSM) has 99.84 per cent penetration; Fixed Wired 0.05 per cent and VoIP 0.12 per cent.
Internet subscription on the narrow band leaped by the addition of 745,703, to move from 155.6 million in January to 156.4 million a month after, with Internet Service Providers only able to service 204,810 customers in the country.
Nothing major was however, recorded in the broadband cycle, as subscription only witnessed 0.29 per cent, increasing from 48.20 per cent in January to 48.49 per cent by February, with actual number of users in the country moved from 92 million to 92.5 million in the period under review.
Already, the Federal Government through the New National Broadband Plan (NNBP 2020 to 2025) is targeting 70 per cent penetration and 90 per cent population coverage by 2025.
FURTHER analysis of the data showed that MTN maintained its leadership of the telecoms market, whose worth is put at excess of $75 billion. Specifically, MTN with 92.71 million mobile subscriptions, enjoys 40.87 per cent market reach; followed by Airtel with 60.7 million users and 26.78 per cent penetration. Globacom is third with 60.30 million and 26.58 per cent nationwide reach, while 9mobile with 13.07 million and 6.76 per cent penetration remains the fourth largest operator in Nigeria.