‘208 million people now subscribed to telephones’ – NCC

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Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress

 

By Francis Ogwo

‌The Nigerian Communications Commission on Thursday disclosed that the number of active telephone subscribers across the country has risen to 208 million.

According to the commission, the third generation (3G) and fourth generation (4G) base transceiver stations deployment in Nigeria had increased from 30,000 to 53,460.

The commission further disclosed that fibre optic transmission cables expanded from 47,000km to 54,725km in the last five years, resulting in improved broadband/telecoms service delivery to Nigerians.

NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman, Umar Danbatta, said this at a briefing for the new Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Festus Daudu, on the functions and regulatory activities of the commission.

Danbatta said in a statement that “The BTS, fibre optic cables and other related infrastructure are central to the provision of improved service experience for Nigerians by their respective telecoms service providers.”

He also disclosed that the licensed infrastructure companies were also expected to add 38,296km to optic fibre cables when they commence full operations.

According to the EVC, as of November 2020, active telephone subscribers stood at 208 million with tele-density standing at 108.92 per cent, while active Internet subscriptions were 154.9 million and a broadband penetration of 45.07 per cent.

Before the latest figures announced by the NCC, industry operators had put the number of telephone subscribers in Nigeria at about 207 million.

Danbatta said the commission had introduced various interventions such as the issuance of directives to mobile network operators to protect consumers from being shortchanged.

Others include the enforcement of mobile number portability as well as the introduction of the Do-Not-Disturb 2442 to check cases of unsolicited text messages.

He said the number of subscriptions to DND service had hit over 30 million as the service empowered Nigerians to be able to protect themselves from the menace of unsolicited text messages.

On his part, the new permanent secretary said the contribution of the telecoms sector to the country’s Gross Domestic Product had been impressive.

While concluding, Daudu stated that if the government must achieve digital economy, the commission must increase its collaboration and teamwork with the communications ministry, other agencies and industry stakeholders.

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