Telecom Services

Nigeria Sees Growth In 3G, 4G Telecom Towers

Nigeria has seen an increased growth in its third generation (3G) and fourth-generation (4G) base transceiver stations (BTS). On Thursday, the Executive Vice Chairman of Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta announced that BTS deployment in Nigeria has increased from 30,000 to 53,460.

Simultaneously, Fibre Optic
Transmission cables expanded from 47,000km to 54,725km in the last five years; this action has improved broadband/telecoms service delivery to Nigerian citizens. This data was revealed at the official briefing for the new permanent secretary, of the ministry of communications and Digital Economy, Festus Dauda, as he stated the activities of the regulatory commission.

According to Danbatta, the Commission's leadership's effective regulatory system has increased deployment of infrastructure by telecoms operators, which has helped improve broadband penetration and other related service delivery in the telecoms industry.

"The BTS, fibre optic cables and other related infrastructure are central to the provision of improved service experience for Nigerians by their respective telecoms service providers," he said, adding that the licensed Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) are also expected to add 38,296km to optic fibre cables when they commence full operations.

According to Danbatta, as of November 2020, active telephony subscribers stood at 208 million with teledensity standing at 108.92 per cent while active Internet subscriptions were 154.9 million and broadband penetration 45.07 per cent, among others.

He also spoke on various initiatives taken by the Commission to make sure consumers are protected and empowered. These, according to him, include the Declaration of 2017 as Year of the Telecom Consumer, the introduction of the 622 Toll-Free Line for lodging and resolving consumer complaints and the provision of the 112 Emergency number and activation of 19 Emergency Communications Centre (ECCs).

Other such consumer-centric regulatory measures intervention, according to the EVC, include the issuance of various directions to mobile network operators (MNOs) to protect the consumers from being short-changed, ensuring a smooth transition of Etisalat to 9Mobile, consumer outreach programmes, introduction and enforcement of mobile number portability (MNP) as well as introduction of the Do-Not-Disturb (DND) 2442 to check cases of unsolicited text messages.

The EVC disclosed that the number of subscriptions to DND service had hit over 30 million as the service empowers Nigerians to protect themselves from the menace of unsolicited text messages.

In acknowledging the economic growth opportunities afforded by the deployment of broadband and its associated technologies, Danbatta said the NCC had positioned itself in government's drive for a digital Nigeria. He also noted that digital campaign comprises the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020-2025), the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (2020-2030) and the Strategic Management Plan (2020- 2024) of the Commission.

"The Commission will continue to put in its best in the discharge of its mandates, especially in facilitating the deployment of broadband, which is central to diversifying the Nigerian economy and national development. Also, we believe that the communications industry, under the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economic leadership, will experience more quantum leaps and retain its current leadership role in the telecommunications space," he said.


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