FG plans N265bn investment as broadband penetration drops • Active mobile telephone lines now 182 million
BROADBAND penetration in Nigeria dropped in November for the first time in six months, data from the Nigerian Communications Commission showed.
The Federal Government has said it plans to invest N265bn in broadband infrastructure over the next four years as it sets its sights on nationwide coverage and to boost an economy recovering from a 2016 contraction.
The number of 3G and 4G subscriptions in the country declined to 71.98 million in November from 72.29 million in October.
Broadband penetration dropped to 37.71 per cent from 37.87 per cent in October, according to the NCC data.
The country’s penetration rate, which stood at 32.34 per cent in January 2019, rose to 33.08 per cent in February; 33.22 per cent in March; and 33.70 per cent in April.
It fell to 33.13 per cent in May but increased to 33.31 per cent in June; 33.72 per cent in July; 35.10 per cent in August; and 35.40 per cent in
Broadband penetration is typically measured by the percentage of the total population with access to broadband networks out of each hundred.
The country had set a fiveyear national broadband plan, which ran from 2013 to 2018, with the target of a minimum of 30 per cent broadband penetration from five per cent in 2013.
The NCC put the nation’s broadband penetration at 31 per cent in December 2018.
last year, the commission set a new target of 70 per cent broadband penetration to be attained in the next five years and said it had licensed infrastructure companies to deploy the optic fibre across the country.
The number of active mobile telephone lines in Nigeria rose to 182.43 million in November from 180.12 million October.
The regulator put the country’s teledensity at 95.71 in October, compared to 94.50 in the previous month.
Telephone density or teledensity is the number of telephone connections for every 100 individuals living within an area. it is calculated using the nation’s population official figure against the prevailing monthly subscriber base.
last year, the NCC realigned the computation of the country’s teledensity with the latest population figure of 190 million given by the National Population Commission, up from the 140 million of 2006.
it noted that the realignment was in line with the international Telecommunication Union’s calculation of teledensity.
The government will provide N65bn for the broadband project and six private infrastructure companies the balance under a public-private partnership, Bloomberg quoted the Executive Vice-chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, as saying in an interview.
The government wants to increase connectivity for the nation’s almost 200 million people as part of a drive to boost business and help diversify the economy away from the commodity.
Danbatta said the country planned to roll out additional 30,000 kilometres (19,000 miles) of fibre across its 774 local governments, taking the total to 71,000 kilometres by 2024.
He said the penetration rate could rise to 65 per cent from 38 per cent.
According to him, the commission plans to start the project this year after obtaining government’s approval.
“There will be data everywhere in the country and it will be cheap,” Danbatta said.
•L-r:manager, Capacity Building Division, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Mr Maurice Iwhiwhu; General Manager, Capacity Building Division, NCDMB, Dr Ama Ikiru; Director, Planning Research and Statistics, Mr Patrick Obah; and Commissioner for Education, Kastina State, Dr Badamasi Lawal, during the closing ceremony of phase 2 of NCDMB Teachers Development Training Programme in Kastina State… on Saturday. Photo: NCDMB