21 January 2013

Nigeria: '2012 Telecoms Subscriber Base May Exceed 80 Percent Teledensity'

Lagos — Feelers from the Nigerian telecommunications industry has indicated that telecoms subscribers base last year might have exceeded 80 per cent teledensity, Daily Trust findings revealed.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is expected to confirm this trend when the December, 2012 subscriber data is released.

Teledensity is the percentage of the number of phone users per population at a given period of time and its growth is proportional to the growth in the subscriber base.

The findings revealed that the current teledensity in the country as at October 2012 was 78.21 per cent with the total active telephone lines of 109.4 million.

It was gathered that with the upsurge in the number or new lines usually expected in November through end of December to surpass 110 million with teledensity exceeding 80 per cent.

Telecoms operators, mostly the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) operators including MTN, Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat have been the chief contributors to the month-on-month increase in subscriber base which has produced corresponding growth in teledensity.

Airtel specifically in December 2012 introduced new telephone number range while Etisalat also announced a feat of 15 million active subscribers.

At the contrary,both the Code Division Multiple Access Multiple Access Operators such as Visafone, Starcomms, Multi-Links and the dormant Zoom Mobile continued to experience consistent decline in their combined CDMA subscriber base thereby affecting their contribution to teledensity.

According to the available data on the regulator's website, teledensity in the telecoms sector, which stood at 68.68 per cent in January, 2012, has increased significantly to reach the current figure of 78.21 per cent in October 2012.

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