Broadband penetration, teledensity decline as telecoms battle vandalism

telecoms mast

Broadband penetration and teledensity declined in 2021, according to the ‘2021 Subscriber/Network Data Annual Report’ by the Nigerian Communications Commission.

According to IGI Global, broadband penetration is a measure of the extent of access to broadband communications within the population of a particular location which could refer to a region, a country, or the entire world. It is computed as a ratio between the number of subscribers and the total population for a particular location. Often, this ratio is multiplied by 100 to represent broadband penetration per 100 inhabitants.

IGI Global also defined teledensity as the number of telephone lines per a given population of people.

The NCC report noted that teledensity in Nigeria decreased from 107.18 per cent in 2020 to 102.40 per cent in 2021.

For broadband penetration, there was a decrease from 45.02 per cent in 2020 to 40.88 per cent in 2021.

The report read in part, “Nigeria`s teledensity decreased from 107.18 per cent as at December 2020 to 102.40 per cent by December 31, 2021.”

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It added, “Broadband Penetration – decreased from 45.02% as at December 2020 to 40.88 per cent as at December, 2021. Similarly, Broadband Subscriptions decreased from 85,941,222 subscriptions in December 2020 to 78,041,883 subscriptions as at December 2021.”

The PUNCH reported on Monday that the operating costs of telecommunications companies in Nigeria rose from N1.4tn in 2020 to N1.66tn in 2021, showing an increase of N265.25bn.

In April this year, telecommunication providers under the aegis of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria said the rising cost of diesel had impacted negatively on their operational costs while asking the Federal Government for special interventions.

However, experts have said that apart from the high cost of power supply, there is a possibility that the vandalism of telecommunications infrastructure contributes to the increasing costs.

At a recent sensitisation programme for residents in Sabon Wuse-Tafa Local Government Area of Niger State, the NCC said that vandalism of telecommunications infrastructures hampered the development of the telecom sector.

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The Commission urged telecom consumers to protect telecommunications infrastructures as they played a major role in complementing efforts being put in place by the NCC.

Speaking at the event, the Director, Zonal Operations, NCC, Amina Shehu, who was represented by the Assistant Director, Zonal Operations, NCC, Abubakar Shehu, said, “Much as we aim to sustain growth and as the industry continues to evolve, we are faced with various challenges that have hampered development in the sector as it relates to infrastructure deployment.”

She added, “vandalism of telecom infrastructure has continued to be a major challenge in the telecom industry. However, the Commission has continued to collaborate with the relevant agencies to ensure adequate security for telecom facilities.”

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