Nigeria: 105m subscribers this year
TELECOMS| Sept. 11, 2012, 7:09 a.m.
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.
MORE TELECOMS NEWS
Nigeria's telco InterC Network targets 10m customersCDMA telco Intercellular has staged a come-back as InterC Network, with a target of capturing 10 million customers in the next five years. Read More
MTN Rwanda launches Business Call Assist for SMEsMTN Rwanda has launched a cost-effective answering position and personal call management tool designed specifically for small and medium enterprises. Read More
Airtel Ghana launches groundbreaking home solutionAirtel Ghana has launched a groundbreaking home solution dubbed Airtel Quonect to provide unparalleled Communication, Connectivity and Collaborative solutions for the modern home. Read More
Ghana Chamber of Telecoms appoints Vodafone CEO as new board chairmanThe Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications has appointed the CEO of Vodafone, Ms. Yolanda Cuba, as Chairperson for the ensuing year, with MTN CEO Ebenezer Asante as Vice Chair. Read More
Telecoms Hall of Fame inducts Glo chairman, AdenugaGlobacom has been named best mobile operator for the year 2016, while its chairman, Dr. Mike Adenuga Jr., has been inducted into the Telecoms Hall of Fame for Telecoms Development as a Platinum member. Read More
Etisalat kicks off Nigerian photo competitionEtisalat Nigeria, in line with its commitment to promote innovation and creativity, has announced the opening of the 2016 Etisalat Photography Competition. Read More
Tigo Ghana rewards customer loyalty with new promoTigo Ghana has launched another promo geared towards rewarding and appreciating its customers. Read More
NCA to prosecute mast owners who host illegal transmission equipmentGhana’s telecoms regulator the National Communication Authority (NCA) has sounded a word of caution to operators of communication masts in the country to desist from hosting illegal transmission equipment off their masts or face prosecution. Read More
Safaricom drops roaming charges by up to 99%Following successful negotiations with its global network of partners, Safaricom has reduced roaming charges for calls and data by up to 99 per cent for over 200 networks across the world. Read More
Nigeria’s fifth telco, ntel, appoints Danjuma board chairmanNatCom Development & Investment Limited (NatCom) trading as ntel, has announced a key addition to its board and the emergence of elder statesman, accomplished businessman and respected philanthropist, Gen TY Danjuma (retd) as Chairman. Read More
FEATURED STORYFinancial services sees AI as both opportunity and threat
Banking is already a key area where technology is having an impact throughout Africa, and a new survey assesses the impact artificial intelligence will have on this sector.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAccess and Use of ICT stats released
Statistics Botswana has released the first results of the 2014 Information and Communication Technology Household Survey.
COMPANY NEWSTigo explores options to give customers a greater choice for 4G services in Ghana
Following her recent visit to Ghana, Cynthia Gordon, the CEO of Millicom Africa, has emphasized the remarkable growth opportunities in data and Tigo’s commitment to giving customers ...