• Thursday, May 23, 2024
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BusinessDay

Nigeria’s total connected lines hit 159mn – NCC

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The total connected telephone lines in the country stands at 159.9 million as at february 2013. Moreover, the total connected lines comprised of service offerings from the GSM (Global System for Mobile) Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) and the Fixed Wired/Wireless operators. The latest industry statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the February report released last week, showed that the connected lines grew by 5.3 million from 154.5 million in January to 159.87 million in February. Indeed, out of the 159.9 million connected lines about 116.6 million are active.

The statistics revealed that the GSM operators, including MTN, Airtel, Globacom and Etisalat, which had 114. 4 millions active subscribers in January added about 2.2 million subscribers to their respective networks and by February, the figure climbed to 116.6 million. On the other hand, the country’s teledensity, which is defined as the number of telephone connections for every hundred individuals living within an area, grew from 81.7 per cent in January to 83.2 per cent in February. However, teledensity varies widely across the nations and also between urban and rural areas within a country.

It has significant correlation with the per capita GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the area. It is also used as an indicator of economic development of the country or specific region. Unfortunately, the report revealed that the troubled CDMA sub-Sector, with players including Starcomms; Visafone; Multilinks sustained its low profile, loosing about 99,966 subscribers within a month. The CDMA operators, which had in January about 2.89 million subscribers, went down to 2.79 million in February. Surprisingly, the Fixed Wired/Wireless operators, which had just 406, 222 active lines in January, added 4,442 lines to hit 410, 664 lines in February.

Further analysis of the February report showed that the total telephone installed capacity by the GSM operators stood at 196.8 million lines; while CDMA operators have 18.4 million lines, the Fixed operators have 11.3 million lines, which is about 226.6 million lines altogether. Analysts are of the opinion that the newly introduced Mobile Number Porting (MNP) will be a game changer in the industry, as it is expected to deepen competition; increase operators market share and brings billing integrity to the sector.

While the result of the on-going N6.1 billion Subscribers Identification Module (SIMs) registration exercise is expected to give a definite number of subscribers in the country when completed, Eugene Juwah, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, has said that the process is still on, stressing that it has reached an advance stage of completion. He said the NCC will bar unregistered lines after the completion of the exercise and that those barred will not have access to port their numbers if the need arises for them, “because only registered SIMs with their datas with us are eligible to participate.”

 

Stories by BEN UZOR JR