Nigeria: 105m subscribers this year

TELECOMS

-
Image: Ernest Ndukwe. By BiztechAfrica
Ernest Ndukwe

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

Going by the current exponential growth in Nigeria's telecom sector, there are chances that the current subscriber base of about 100 million may record an additional five million in another three months’ time.

Ernest Ndukwe, immediate past executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), made this disclosure in a keynote address at the Nigeria Telecoms Awards held at the weekend in Lagos. While he described this growth as phenomenal, he warned that the rise of the new media alongside the boom in subscriber base could be disruptive to established democracy, create more cyber criminality and among others, endanger the safety and social equilibrium of societies.

The former NCC chief, who made a presentation on ICT Development and the Media, said the changes that have taken place in the telecommunications industry in Nigeria in the past twelve years can only be described as 'phenomenal and breath taking', adding that it began in 2001 when what is now commonly referred to as Nigeria’s Telecoms revolution debuted.

"Today, the figure for active subscribers in the mobile networks is around 100 million lines and may surpass 105 million by end of December 2012. Indeed Nigeria has transited from what I had described as the 'telecommunications dark ages' before 2000 to a telecommunication revolution age that has opened up new possibilities and frontiers across our political social and economic landscape,” he said.

Ndukwe said this feat was achieved due to an unwavering commitment to full sector reform by various stakeholders in the value chain including government for policy direction; the industry regulator for professional and pro-active regulation, openness, transparency, and firmness; the legislature for enacting good laws for the sector; and the Nigerian media for incisive and well researched reportage and publications.

He lamented however that all too often the role of the media is not well recognised, arguing that it is no exaggeration to say that the press and electronic media (radio, television and internet) have played a major role in the success of the telecom revolution right from the onset. He cited the landmark frequency spectrum auction in January 2001 which he said would not have had the level of international acclaim and recognition for transparency it enjoyed if not for the role of the media in the pre-auction stage, the auction stage and the post-auction stage of the digital media licence or DML auction.

“One of the major success factors of that DML auction which commenced on the 17th and ended 19th of January 2001 was the fact that process was monitored by interested parties locally and internationally. Recognition must therefore go the indomitable media team that ensured that this happened. From that unique beginning, the relationship with the Nigerian media in ICT development has been that of an essential partnership,” he averred.

He said New Media will redefine the concept of journalism and media practice and redefine media power ownership in the continent; encourage citizen journalism and give the ordinary folk the ability to talk and contribute to issues; and diffuse state ownership of the media albeit equally removing it from the dominance of the tiny few.

According to him, on the other side, some have argued that New Media will be disruptive to established democracy, create more cyber criminality and among others, endanger the safety and social equilibrium of societies. “Instead of one to many, New Media facilitates a user-to-user interactivity, and creates what Vin Crosbie described as Individuation Media, or many to many.

“That is where the threat is: media in the hands of many. But as long as technology continues to advance, as long as personal communication tools are fitted with state of the art communication abilities, as long as humanity continues to seek for alternative technology to drive down cost and empower the majority, and as long as it is possible to receive TV and Radio in mobile devices, New Media will always be advantageous beside being a threat,” he warned.



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE TELECOMS NEWS

Work set to start on Gabon-Congo fibre link

Work is set to begin on the Gabon-Congo fibre-optic interconnection, with successful tender bids to made known by June this year and the project delivery date scheduled for January 2016. Read More

Orange Kenya dumping copper for fibre

Orange Kenya will this week commission a project to replace its copper cables with fibre in Nairobi’s Milimani Area. Read More

Second class to graduate from Samsung Academy Kenya

Samsung Electronics East Africa (SEEA) will this week release 98 more graduates from its academy in Kenya. Read More

Telecom Namibia joins global Pearson VUE testing network

Telecom Namibia has signed an agreement with Pearson VUE, the electronic certification and licensure testing business of Pearson, to provide Information Technology certification test delivery using the Pearson VUE® Testing System.  Read More

Telecel Go reduces cost of calls to all networks

Telecel has launched a new pre-paid service platform called Telecel Go, which removes the boundaries between networks and reduces the cost of calls across all networks significantly. Read More

Huawei rolls out new base stations in Zambia

Vice President Dr Guy Scott makes a call from the new tower Chinese communications equipment giant Huawei Technologies has launched the first of a series of 169 base stations that will connect rural communities in Zambia to the mobile phone network. Read More

Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda strike deal to lower roaming rates

Plans are underway to lower roaming rates among Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.  Read More

Kenyans making longer calls - CAK Report

Robust marketing by telecoms and lowered call rates saw Kenyans use mobile phones more in 2013, the latest sector report shows.  Read More

Telecom Namibia, XON Systems, Juniper Networks invest in network academy

Frans Ndoroma Telecom Namibia has set up a Telecom Namibia Juniper Networks Academy in conjunction with XON Systems and Juniper Networks to boost the training of network engineersin its training facility. Read More

Nokia X excites Ghana smartphone lovers

Nokia Ghana has unveiled one of its new smartphone products, the Nokia X, onto the Ghanaian mobile phone market. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionSage HR AfricaMTN Business

FEATURED STORY

Kenyan shift to Green Economy would generate USD 45bn by 2030 Kenyan shift to Green Economy would generate USD 45bn by 2030

Kenya’s transition to a green economy could produce major economic benefits  equivalent to an estimated USD 45 billion by 2030, a new  study shows.

IN DEPTH

E-waste threatens Ghana’s beachesE-waste threatens Ghana’s beaches

Many beaches in Ghana, already stressed by pollution and poor maintenance, are now facing a new threat: e-waste.

COMPANY NEWS

MTN makes it onto World Champions list

MTN Group has been named as the only South African company on the World Champions list. 

VMware Reports First Quarter 2014 Results

VMWare has announced Year-over-Year revenue growth of 14% to $1.36 Billion in its Q114 results.