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

SSA telecoms growing faster than any other region

The African telecoms market is set to be one of the main growth success stories for the telecoms sector in the next 5 years, according to a new report. Read More

Tigo introduces unified short code for products and services

Tigo Ghana has announced the installation of a world-class IVR (Interactive Voice Response) that will give both its pre-paid and post-paid customers the opportunity to access all its product through a unified short code, 555.  Read More

TNM to conduct biggest promotion pay-out

TNM will on August 26 splash out over K100 million in its Ufulu@50 Promotion, the biggest payout in a single day in the history of promotions in Malawi. Read More

We don’t patronise fake OEMs, says Glo

Globacom has said it does not patronise substandard original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and telecoms equipment vendors.  Read More

Africell DRC waits ‘in vain’ for interconnection

Africell, which began operations in the DRC in June 2012, has yet to enjoy interconnection. Read More

Telecom Namibia: WACS repairs to start this weekend

Repair work on the West Africa Cable System (WACS) off Namibia’s coast is scheduled to start over the weekend, says Telecom Namibia.  Read More

MTN Uganda marks 10m subscriber mark

Having hit the 10 million subscriber base, MTN Uganda has announced that it is giving out 10 million minutes of free airtime and 100 million MB of data to its customers. Read More

Airtel Malawi launches thematic campaign

Airtel Malawi has launched a new thematic campaign dubbed 'Muli Bwanji?' a local language greeting meaning 'How are you?' aimed at depicting the warmth and love that is synonymous with Malawians. Read More

Etisalat commissions flagship Experience Centre in Abuja

Etisalat has commissioned a world class flagship Experience Centre in Abuja. Read More

Infrastructure, connectivity key to Africa’s smart cities

Infrastructure and connectivity are key to achieving the Smart City vision, say WSP and Ruckus Wireless. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionSage HR AfricaMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoice

FEATURED STORY

Nigeria’s VAS providers ‘on brink of extinction’Nigeria’s VAS providers ‘on brink of extinction’

WASPAN chief Simon Aderinlola says unless the regulator intervenes, WASPAN may not have anything left to regulate. Kokumo Goodie reports.

IN DEPTH

Kenya rolls out e-extension to improve agricultureKenya rolls out e-extension to improve agriculture

In a bid to curb the overwhelmed number of agricultural extension officers in Kenya, the ministry of agriculture is embracing technology with their introduction of E-Extension services, which are aimed at reaching out to over 7 million farmers annually.