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
NewTelco SA extends African footprint with dedicated Kenyan presenceThe Jasco Group has expanded the presence of NewTelco South Africa, a joint venture between the Jasco Group and NewTelco GMBH, into the East African region with a dedicated presence in Kenya. Read More
Facility closure to affect Ondo services, warns MTNMTN Nigeria has warned that the closure of its facilities in Ondo by the state government will negatively impact the quality of service in the state. Read More
Telcos threaten service blackout on states shutting BTSNigeria’s telecoms operators have threatened not to reopen any base transmission station (BTS) that were forcefully shut down by states. Read More
Neglect of CDMA a mistake, says NCC CEOThe Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) has lamented the comatose state of the CDMA sector of the telecoms industry. Read More
Airtel introduces new UnlimiNet 20 daily bundleAirtel has introduced a new “UnlimiNet 20 bundle”, billed as the most affordable bundled offer for voice, SMS and data on the Airtel network. Read More
Safaricom opens new Narok retail shopSafaricom has set its sights on Narok County as it seeks to provide residents of the rapidly growing town with easier access to its wide range of products and services. Read More
Why we launched Mate 8, M2 Tablet: HuaweiChinese original equipment manufacturer Huawei has said it launched its two new flagship products, Mate 8 and M2 Tablet, to cater for the increasing mobile needs of consumers. Read More
BTCL introduces IPO ChampionsThe BTCL IPO Project Team has introduced BTCL IPO Champions across all BTCL and Barclays Bank branches across Botswana. Read More
We didn’t axe 2000 Visafone jobs, says founderFounder and retired Chairman of Visafone Communications Limited, Mr. Jim Ovia, has denied axing 2000 jobs in the telco, arguing that it would not have been possible because the entire workforce of the CDMA operator was less than 400. Read More
Tigo Tanzania pays $2.1 million in quarterly profit share to customersTigo has announced another quarterly payment of US$ 2.1million (Tshs 4.4 billion) to its 4.6 million Tigo Pesa users. Read More
FEATURED STORYViber Spreads Good Vibes in Africa with the introduction of public chats
Viber, one of the leading messaging and calling apps with more than 664 million unique users worldwide, has opened its latest social channel ‘Public Chats’ to partners in Africa and the Middle East.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHPoised for greater heights – Roshi Motman, AfricaCom CEO of the Year Winner
Roshi Motman is not your average CEO. Since taking up the reins as the first female CEO of Tigo Ghana in 2014, she has led the Tigo brand through a remarkable transformation.