148.7 Million Nigerians Now Use GSM

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Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, NCC
Danbatta

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More than 151,018,624 Nigerians are now using telephones out of which 148,703,160 are on GSM

| By Anayo Ezugwu | Oct 19, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT |

MANY Nigerians are increasingly being connected to the mobile telephony. As at last week, October 7, figures released by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, show that subscription to the GSM networks in Nigeria is now 148,703,160. The total number of subscription to all telecommunications networks rose to 151,018,624 by the end of August this year.

A year ago, specifically in September 2014, the total number of subscribers stood at 134,507,329 lines. This means that within a period of one year, the networks have added 16,511,295 lines, an increase of 12.28 percent. On the other hand, the total number of subscription to the GSM networks a year ago stood at 131,910,228. This means that the GSM networks added 16,792,932 lines, showing an increase of 12.73 percent within a period of one year.

However, the Code Division Multiple Access, CDMA, networks shrank as the lines in the network decreased from 2,406,382 lines to 2,125,941 lines within the one year period. This shows the dwindling fortunes of operators of the CDMA technology. Although the CDMA operators deployed by Intercellular, Multilinks, Starcomms and Visafone preceded the introduction of the GSM technology in Nigeria, the technology has continued to decline as the GSM operators have over the years proved that they have better resources and market plan.

Similarly, fixed telephony services declined from 190,719 lines in September 2014 to 189,523 lines by the end of August. This shows that the growth in subscriber base in the country has been driven by the GSM operators. There are four main service providers deploying this technology namely: MTN Nigeria Communications Limited, Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat.

The fifth holder of the licence for this service, Mobile Telecommunications Limited, is comatose as the investor in this legacy network that was recently privatised is yet to announce its market rollout plan.

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