By G9ija

Nigeria’s teledensity has risen by 2.2 per cent from 104.4 per cent to 106.6 per cent, even as 4.2 million new telephone lines had been connected for the country to hit a 203.5 million subscribers’ base.

Teledensity is the number of telephone connections for every 100 individuals living within an area. It varies across nations, and between urban and rural areas within a country.

The August subscription data released on Wednesday by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) also showed improvement in Internet usage, with over two million new people coming on board. The figure rose from 146 million in July to 149 million in the month under review. Broadband also shot up, as penetration hit 43.3 per cent, and some 82 million Nigerians now benefit from high-speed Internet.

The statistics equally revealed that Emerging Market Telecoms Service (EMTS), operating as 9Mobile, amassed more subscribers, acquiring four million fresh customers between June and August. With a market penetration of 6.09 per cent, the telecommunications company now boasts of 12.4 million users.

The battle for the second largest operator’s position subsisted between Globacom and Airtel. Interestingly, the newest data rated the latter higher, having 54.8 million subscribers and 26.96 per cent market reach. On the other hand, Globacom had 52.9 million users, and 26.1 per cent penetration

MTN remained the largest operator both by penetration and market share. As at August, the South African telecoms firm had a 40.9 per cent penetration, and served 83 million Nigerians.

However, a GSMA report titled, “The Role of Mobile Technology in Building Nigeria’s Digital Economy”, put the unique (actual) mobile subscription at 97.5 million, and projected the figure to hit 130 million by 2025.

The body, which represents the interest of over 800 companies across the globe, noted that the growth in adoption of digital services by government, businesses, and consumers was impacting lives positively on a daily basis in the most populous black nation.

According to it, mobile technology is playing an increasingly central role in the country’s economy and, for the majority of Nigerians, “mobile broadband is the first and only technology for accessing the Internet, and opening the door to a whole new world.”

In his remarks, president of the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Olusola Teniola, queried the development, noting that the words, users and subscription, should not be mistaken for each other.

For him, the multi-SIM environment in the country was another factor, as a customer could subscribe to more than one network at a time.He pointed out that some machines, including the Point of Sales (PoS), also make use of SIMs.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, in company of Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is opening a new Tech Experience Centre in the nation’s economic capital tomorrow to revolutionalise the sector. The facility is a brainchild of Technology Distributions, a subsidiary of Zinox Group.