The installed capacity of Nigeria’s telecommunications industry has hit 226.6 million telephone lines in January, with country’s teledensity currently at 81.7 per cent, according to latest statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). Installed capacity refers to the total number of telephone lines which telecoms networks have built at a particular period of time.
Although, Nigeria still awaits official mobile subscriber numbers through the telecoms regulator and telecoms operator conducted N6.1 billion Subscribers Identification Modules (SIM) registration, Nigeria can presently boast of about 114.1 million active connected lines.
Going by the data, operators recorded additional 1.3 million active lines in January 2013 alone, bringing the industry total to 114.4 million at the end of the month. The 2012, the industry ended the year with combined subscriber base of 113.1 million up from 95.8 million active subscriptions in January, 2012. The latest data did now contain information for last month.
According to the NCC, only Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) operators such as MTN, Glo, Airtel and Etisalat contributed the additional 1.3m subscribers, as Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) operators and fixed line operators further recorded decline in their ever-dwindling subscriber base.
The CDMAs comprising Visafone, Multi-Links, Starcomms and the dormant Zoom Mobile experienced reduction from 2.9 million in December 2012 to 2.8 million at the end of January 2013.
This means about 100, 000 telecoms subscribers hitherto on the CDMA networks dropped their lines in January alone. Also the fixed line networks, which had active 418, 166 subscriber base in December, 2012, a marginal reduction was also recorded on their networks as their subscriptions fell to 406, 222 lines in January, 2013.
Meanwhile, the NCC data have revealed an increase in teledensity from 80.85 in December 2012 to 81.78 as at the end of January, this year.
Teledensity is the percentage of connected lines in relation to the population at a given period of time and its growth is proportional to rise in subscriber base.
Highlights of the latest industry data also revealed that telecoms firms continued to spend on network expansion to accommodate more subscribers on their networks.
BEN UZOR JR