Nigeria Reports Rise in Voice and Internet Subscriptions Amid Teledensity Decline

Nigeria has recorded a consistent increase in active voice and internet subscriptions despite a fall in teledensity, according to the latest telecommunications data from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Making this announcement through a statement on Wednesday was Reuben Muoka, the Director of Public Affairs at the NCC.

The NCC revealed it has updated its statistics to reflect the country’s recent population estimates and to align with international standards.

The NCC report, which covers statistical data for September, October, and November 2023, now utilizes the Nigerian Population Commission’s (NPC) 2022 population projection of 216,783,381, a significant increase from the 190 million figure used in 2017.

As a result of the recalibration, based on the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) guidelines, Nigeria’s teledensity, which measures telephone penetration, decreased from 115.63% in August to 102.30% in September. Broadband penetration also saw a decline from 45.47% to 40.85%.

Despite these drops, the country experienced a rise in active voice subscriptions, from 220,361,186 in August to 221,769,883 by the end of September 2023. Internet subscriptions similarly increased slightly from 159,034,717 in August to 160,171,757 in September.

The upward trend continued through October with a 0.19% growth in active voice subscriptions, teledensity reaching 102.49%, and internet subscriptions rising by 0.60%. November followed suit, marking a 0.46% increase in active voice subscriptions and a teledensity of 102.97%, alongside a 0.57% increase in internet subscriptions from the previous month.

The NCC’s revision of the telecom indicators is in compliance with Section 89 Subsection 3(d) of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003, which mandates the Commission to provide accurate industry monitoring and statistical analysis.

Aminu Maida, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, stated that the revision is critical for maintaining the accuracy of telecom data and for measuring the Commission’s success in achieving its broadband penetration goals, enhancing service quality, and expanding population coverage as envisioned in the Strategic Plan for the Federal Ministry of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy.

The data is not only essential for the International Telecommunications Union, to which Nigeria is a member, but also for other development agencies, operators, investors, multilateral organizations, and the public at large.

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