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5G rollout to spur Nigeria internet space

from OKORO CHINEDU in Lagos, Nigeria
LAGOS – MOBILE lines and internet connections in Nigeria are growing marginally per month but fallen significantly on a yearly basis.

Trends are attributed to the ban, later lifted, on new subscriber identity module (SIM) card registrations.

According to data by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) data, active mobile lines and internet connections grew month-by-month (m/m) by 0,6 percent and 0,1 percent to 193,2 million and 140,1 million respectively in November 2021.

FBN Quest said the steady monthly growth recorded in the last four months was supported by increased SIM card sales following the lifting of the NCC’s ban on new SIM card registrations.

On a yearly basis however, active mobile lines and internet connections recorded 7,1 percent and 9,3 percent declines respectively.

In the last four months, MTN and 9mobile recorded m/m declines averaging 0,4 percent and 1,4 percent respectively.

Airtel and Globacom, however, saw average monthly increases of 0,6 percent and 0,7 percent respectively.

The NCC data show that in the reference month, MTN accounted for the largest share (41,5 percent) of total subscriptions. 9mobile accounted for the smallest share with 4,1 percent.

FBN Quest forecast Nigeria’s internet space to gain more traction with the roll-out of 5G.

Last month, the NCC conducted an auction for two 100MHz spectrum licences in the 3.5GHz spectrum band.

MTN Nigeria and MAFAB Nigeria Communications Limited won.

The final Information Memorandum, a document that defines the process for the licensing of the spectrum band, stipulates a rollout obligation plan spanning a period of ten years for the licences.

NCC implemented the ban on SIM registrations in December 2020.

This was intended to enable the NCC to carry out a comprehensive audit of Nigeria’s subscriber registration database and crack down on multiple SIM registrations and fraudulent sales.

The ban was lifted in April 2021.

– CAJ News

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