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Nigeria's telcos winning in numbers game

Nigeria's telcos winning in numbers game.

Latest figures released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) showed the number of telecoms lines in Nigeria rose to 146,561,744 at the end of May 2015.

According to the NCC's latest monthly subscriber data, there were 145,476,326 in Nigeria in April and this figure rose by 1,085,418 in May.

The NCC said 144,386,841 of the 146,561,744 active numbers subscribe to GSM network services being offered by the nation's major telecoms companies – MTN, Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat.

The GSM operators increased their active customers by 1,329,607 against the 143,057,234 subscribers they recorded in April.

Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) operators on the other hand experienced a decline in the number of customers. Within the period under review, there were 1,993,278 active CDMA users in Nigeria in May, a reduction of 241,024 from the 2,234,302 CDMA customers in April.

The subscriber data also revealed a reduction in the number of fixed wired/wireless networks consumers to 181,625 in May, following the loss of 3,165 customers from the recorded 184,790 in April.

However, teledensity, the percentage of a country's population with access to telecommunications services, as determined from the subscriber base, rose to 104.69 percent in May.

This was up from 103.91 percent in the month of April, representing a 0.78 percent rise in the teledensity of Nigeria in the month of May.

Executives from telcos have urged the government to focus on improving broadband access to achieve economic growth.

Chief executive of Etisalat Nigeria, Matthew Willsher believes mobile broadband is Nigeria's best route towards achieving its broadband coverage objectives.

According to him, fixed broadband is more expensive because of the associated high cost.

He said: "The most valuable coverage spectrum is underutilised with the sub-optimal use of the 800MHz spectrum and the delays being experienced in the freeing up of the 700MHz spectrum. Clearly, Nigeria was unable to meet the June 17th 2015 deadline set by the ITU to migrate from analogue to digital broadcasting."


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