The aggregate active telephone subscriptions in the Nigerian telecommunications sector have further increased to 199.31 million.
This fact is disclosed in the latest industry statistics released today by the telecoms industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
The latest data by the agency indicate that, on a month-on-month basis, growth in subscriptions represents 1.56 per cent as operators across the various segments of the sector recorded 3.07 million new subscriptions on their networks in the month.
Analysed on a year-to-date (YtD) basis however, NCC revealed that no fewer than 14.54 million lines have been activated on the networks of operators from January to July, this year. This is equivalent to 7.87 per cent increase.
Details of the report show that active subscriptions to telephony in the country moved up from 184.7 million in December last year to 186.02 million, 187.44 million and 188.15 million in January, February and March this year respectively.
Similarly, as Nigerians continued to apply telecoms services more on daily basis, the figure further jacked up in April, May and June to hit 190.67 million, 192.13 million and 196.24 million respectively.
In a parallel movement, as penetration of mobile phone usage deepens across the country, teledensity has equally improved from 102.81 per cent in June to 104.41 per cent as at July this year.
According to the Nigerian Communications Commission, teledensity is defined as the number of active telephone connections per one hundred (100) inhabitants living within an area and is expressed as a percentage figure.
This means that on the average, a cluster of 100 inhabitants within a location across the country have at least 104 active telephone lines serving them.
While the NCC has taken note of saturation of phone access in the urban segments and the digital divide affecting the underserved areas of the country, the commission has also embarked on many initiatives to bridge the gap and connect the unconnected people in the country.
Apart from such initiative as the TV White Space deployment to provide rural connectivity, the NCC, in collaboration with the supervising ministry, has been on course to remove obstacles for operators to ensure deepened access to telecoms services and at affordable costs for an average Nigerian.
Efforts to harmonise Right of Way (R0W) charges across state to the stipulated N145 per linear metre and the struggle to stem telecoms infrastructure vandalism are part of moves by the commission to engender conducive operating environment for telcos, whom have been charged to replicate such relief in dealing with subscribers.
Regarding the TVWS, the NCC has said that about 56 per cent of Nigeria’s rural population will be connected to broadband services through the use of television white space (TVWS) technology.
This informed the NCC, in collaboration with the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), to develop a framework for the use of TVWS technology to extend affordable rural connectivity to Nigerians.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ consultative forum, Umar Danbatta, the executive vice chairman (EVC) of NCC, had said connectivity of every Nigerian is a priority to the commission.
“NCC takes the connectivity of every Nigerian irrespective of where he or she resides very importantly. So, what we do is to look out for technology that fits into making this happen for us,” he said.
He further explained that the TVWS is one of such technologies because it is coming to utilise the spectrum in the lower megahertz band and as it is, the spectrum is very good because it propagates very far.
“So, you need less number of base stations to deliver services on TVWS and the fact that rural communities are very challenging does not mean that people in those communities should not be connected, hence the use of this innovative technology,” the NCC boss had once been quoted.