Nigeria’s broadband penetration leaped by 2.47 percent between September and October with new 4.71 million subscribers, up from 67.5 million in September, to 72.3 million in October, which moved penetration from 35.4 to 37.87 percent.
According to the Subscription Statistics released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), yesterday, in the voice segment, operators added 1.2 million new users to the network, moving from 179.2 million to 180.4 percent within the period under review.Also, the Internet segment added 396,596 fresh users, a slight leap from 123.2 million to 123.6 million, showing that more subscribers actually explored the broadband channel for Internet services, which subsequently impacted the narrowband facility.
The GSM remains the dominant technology in the market, with players including MTN having 65.9 million subscribers, 36.6 percent of the market. Globacom is second with 27.9 percent share and 50.3 million subscribers. Airtel followed with 27.3 percent share and 49.1 million users, while 9Mobile moved up with 8.21 percent market share and 14.8 million customers.
Meanwhile, while Nigeria remains lukewarm in passing the Critical National Infrastructure from a bill to law, after almost a decade, South Africa has taken the lead, in enacting a law that protects its telecoms infrastructure.
The South Africa law signed by President Cyril Ramaphosa, in November 2019, repealed the apartheid-era, National Key Points Act, and provides for public-private cooperation in the identification and protection of critical infrastructure. “The law provides for the identification and declaration of infrastructure as critical, and engages both the public and private sectors in the protection, safeguarding and resilience of critical infrastructure,” said the Presidency.
Nigeria’s ICT infrastructure stakeholders have since 2011, been canvassing the need for a CNI Bill that will protect telecoms infrastructure in the country.They had followed their call by drafting a document that was sent to the NCC, and the Ministry of Communications for ratification and onward transmission to the National Assembly.
The bill was sent to the eighth National Assembly, but could not be passed before its tenure expired in May 2019, and now the industry is looking forward to the 9th Assembly to pass the bill.The NCC had at various times called on the legislators to pass the critical Infrastructure Bill to address the issue of vandalism and theft of telecommunication infrastructure in the industry. The NCC believed that if this is done, it will also help tackle the problem of poor quality of service that has defied every measure adopted in the country.