Internet users hit 151m as telecom operators get new phone numbers

With the addition of 1.8 million new subscribers between August and September, the country’s Internet subscription figure has hit 151.5 million.


According to the latest subscription statistics (September edition) released at the weekend by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the nation’s telephone density leaped by 0.9 per cent, moving from 106.6 per cent in August to 107.5 per cent a month after.

Analysis of the statistics further showed that in the period under review, Globacom garnered the most Internet subscribers, pulling 638,230 and moving from 38.5 million in August to 39.1 million in September.

India’s Bharti Airtel, which trades as Airtel in Nigeria, recorded 519,257 new online users, with the figure rising from 39.8 million in August to 40.3 million after a month. South Africa’s MTN attracted 462, 484 new subscribers, moving from 63.9 million to 64.4 million Internet users.

Emerging Markets Telecommunications Service (EMTS), trading as 9Mobile, recorded 104, 473 new subscribers and the figure rose from 7,170, 308 in August to 7,274,781 in September.

Further analysis showed that the entire networks, the quartet of MTN, 9mobile, Airtel and Globacom, added 1.72 million new subscribers in September.

NCC affirmed that MTN is the largest operator with 82.6 million users, and 40.3 per cent penetration while Airtel is still the second biggest operator with 26.9 per cent reach and 55.3 million customers.

Globacom is in the third position with 54.5 million users and 26. 5 per cent penetration, as 9mobile is fourth with 6.21 per cent reach and 12.7 million customers.

MEANWHILE, the Q3 2020 National Numbering Plan has revealed that NCC has assigned 357.53 million new telephone numbers for the use of telecommunications operators.

The numbering plan is used to allocate a unique national number to each subscriber connected to the national telephone system. According to the document, the operators with national and state licences include 101 Communications, 21st Century Technologies, Airtel Networks, Airworld Technologies, Alpha Technologies, Big Picture Nigeria, Broadbased Communications, CallMe Nigeria, Cedarview Communications, Cyberspace, EMTS Limited (9Mobile) and FNL Engineering.

NCC further explained that the states and cities where some of these telephone lines would be used by the operators include Lagos, Abuja, Enugu, Kano, Port Harcourt, Maiduguri, Owerri, Aba, Umuahia, Zaria, Jos, Awka, Umuahia, Uyo, Calabar, Ilorin, Kaduna and Kano.

The numbering plan, according to NCC, provides a uniform dialing procedure for local calls, national long distance calls, international calls as well as calls to emergency and special services.

The commission, in June, had withdrawn 33.75 million telephone lines from some telecommunications operators who were licensees of the regulator.

It also returned 7.49 million telephone lines to Nigerian Telecommunications Limited and three other telecom operators.



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