5-G Service Subscriptions Hit .5m Mark – NCC

  • Danbatta reels out achievements
  • Broadband penetration fully on course
L-R: Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Reuben Muoka; Chairman, Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kano Chapter, Aminu Garko; Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC, Ubale Maska; Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta; Head, Women and Children Department, Nasara Radio, Aisha Abdulmalik; and Head of Station, Rahma Radio/TV Abuja, Nafiu Yahaya, at the media stakeholders’ interactive session in Kano on September 16, 2023

BY EDMOND ODOK – With the Fifth Generation (5G) services already hitting half a million mark in subscription, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says there is no reneging on the national target of 70 percent broadband penetration by 2025.

According to the Commission, its various efforts at improving broadband penetration are yielding fruitful results with the current estimates of 47.01 percent by July 2023 ending.

This is as the Commission also assured that its renewed attention on the project would ensure the 50 percent desired result is achieved before the end of 2023.

The NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman, Professor Umar Danbatta, gave the assurance while unveiling his achievements in office during a special interactive session with Media Executives in the northern part of the country.

Relying on the extant reviewed five-pillar Strategic Vision Plan as building block, Danbatta said the 119 milestones achieved so far include regulatory excellence, universal broadband, market development, digital economy and strategic collaboration.

He said with effective implementation of the Commission’s mandates under his watch and cooperation of internal as well as external stakeholders since 2015, telecommunications industry in Nigeria has achieved remarkable milestones.

The NCC Boss said; “While we acknowledge the challenges encountered by the industry, we have also witnessed explosive growth, improved regulatory standards, and digital innovations that have garnered global recognition”.

Further reeling out the impressive statistics that have characterized his leadership at NCC from 2015 to date, Danbatta said active telephone subscribers moved from less than 150.7 million to 218.9 million, representing a teledensity growth of 115.70 percent from 107.87 percent in 2015.

He said through nationwide stimulation of broadband infrastructure, the penetration, which stood at six (6) per cent in 2015 rose significantly to 47.01 per cent as of July, 2023, enhancing over 89.73 million subscriptions on 3G, 4G and 5G networks in the country.

Additionally, general Internet subscriptions now stand at 159.5 million up from less than 100 million in 2015.

The EVC explained that “Also, from eight (8) per cent contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2015, telecommunications sector now contributes 16 per cent quarterly to the Nigerian economy as of the second quarter of 2023.

“Besides, following the authorization of more telecommunications companies to operate in the Nigeria’s telecoms sector, the investments profile has increased tremendously from $38 billion in 2015 to $75 billion currently and this keeps growing daily. From the sales of Fifth Generation (5G) C-Band Spectrum, the NCC has generated over $847.8 million for the Federal Government”.

Basking in the euphoria of numerous awards nationally, regionally and globally in recognition of the outstanding performance of Nigeria’s telecom industry, Danbatta, in listing other achievements recorded since 2015, said; “Other milestones and initiatives recorded aside the regulatory activities that culminated in the landmark launch of 5G services in Nigeria include the introduction of Spectrum Trading Guidelines; re-farming and re-planning certain spectrum band for efficiency; the emplaced collaborative process for the release of C-Band Spectrum by Nigerian Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) Limited; and introduction of the Expanded Revenue Assurance Solution (ERAS) to address revenue leakages and improve government revenue from the telecoms industry.

“These initiatives also include Licensing of Satellite Earth Stations, issuing of operating licence to SpaceX Satellite, facilitating the landing of additional submarine Cables, such as the Google 2,000km Equiano subsea Internet cable in 2022, listing of MTN on the Nigerian bourse, licensing of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), introduction of new unlicensed millimeter wave spectrum, and regulation of white space spectrum”.

Also, the Commission has endowed professorial chairs in Nigerian universities and committed over N500 million Naira to Research and Development (R&D) in the telecoms sector.

“The creation of the Digital Economy Department, the mandate to drive the implementation of the indigenous telecoms sector growth through the operation of the Nigeria Office for Developing Indigenous Telecom Sector (NODITS), are also important strides made by the Commission,” he said.

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