By Favour Unukaso
THOUGH it gained about 0.4 per cent in July, Nigeria’s teledensity has remained very slow in the last three months, a report has revealed.
While the country witnessed 115.91 per cent in May, it dropped to 115.30 per cent in June and leaped slightly in July to 115.70 per cent, according to the latest subscription statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
Teledensity or telephone density is the number of telephone connections for every hundred individuals living within an area. It varies widely across the nations and also between urban and rural areas within a country.
NCC explained that from March 2019, teledensity is calculated based on a population estimate of 190 million, up from 140 million.
Further analysis of the July data showed that subscriptions went up on the networks by the addition of 774, 036 newly activated lines. The figure rose from 220,086,951 in June to 220,860,987 in July.
The data also showed that as of July, 159,534,913 against 159,498,826 in June across all the technology platforms. Specifically, Fixed Wired rose from 16,987 in June to 17,098 in July; Internet Service Provider (ISP) maintained 208,612 customers in both months; Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) dropped from 328,657 to 326,241.
The GSM platforms including MTN, Globacom, Airtel and 9mobile increased the subscriber base from 158,944,660 in June to 158,982,962 a month after.
Broadband subscriptions also stagnated in the two months. It maintained 89,730,341 and 47.01 per cent in June and July.
Nonetheless, MTN maintained the largest mobile network operator (MNO) in Nigeria with 85.3 million subscribers and 38.7 per cent market penetration; Globacom came second with 61.3 million users and 27.8 per cent country reach.
Airtel as of July had 60 million and 27.2 per cent penetration, while 9mobile with 6.24 per cent penetration, services 13.7 million users.
MEANWHILE, security applications offer the greatest business opportunity for leading telcos, according to the results of a survey of major telecom chief technology officers (CTOs) and other top technology decision-makers conducted by TelecomTV.
As part of a wide-ranging survey focused on the trends that are shaping the telecoms sector, TelecomTV interviewed a select group of CTOs and other high-level technology decision-makers from major network operators to rank the business opportunity (for their own company) of a range of services categories from 1 to 10, where 1 represented no opportunity at all and 10 represented a great opportunity
The platform security came out top with a score of 7.7, followed very closely by fixed-line business services. It’s “clear that respondents believe security services offer great business potential, reflecting the growing cybersecurity challenges faced, in particular, by business users.”
Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, Internet of Things (IoT) ranked joint third, along with mobile business services, despite little evidence that IoT is having much impact on the revenues or profit margins of the world’s telcos – see IoT connectivity is still a tough sell.
“IoT scores highly while, in reality, many telcos are downgrading their forecasts for IoT,” noted the authors, adding that “hype from the supplier community” might be rubbing off on the CTO functions. “Evidence from the market is that the 50 billion connected things initially predicted have not materialised – IoT is gaining momentum but slowly, and with a high integration price tag for those playing in the area,” the report noted.