•FTTH gets traction as subscriptions hit 691
Statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), have revealed low usage of the Internet by governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), schools and research institutions in the country.
Rather, residential and individuals topped the list of highest users. The 2019 Subscriber/Network Data report revealed that Internet usage in government is just 0.9 per cent; NGO 4.6 per cent; multinationals 0.04 per cent; schools and research institutions 0.09 per cent.
On the other hand, residential/individual accounted for 91.6 per cent; private business 2.3 per cent; cybercafés 0.06 per cent; hospitals and medical research 0.07 per cent; public libraries 0.002 per cent; military 0.002 per cent, and others 0.36 per cent as at last year, when Nigeria’s Internet subscription hit 126 million.
Meanwhile, as last December, the total number of Internet users’ that is those who were connected through the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as opposed to the GSM service providers, in the six geopolitical zones was 257,085, a 21 per cent increase from the 211,636 recorded as at December, 2018.
The breakdown showed that South West had the highest number of users in 2017, with 193,405 or 75 per cent of the total subscriptions; South-South had six per cent with 15,536 users; and North West had 0.06 per cent with 166 users. The South East had 0.12 per cent with 333 users; North-East had 0.13 per cent with 344 users; North Central had 47,301 users which indicated 18 per cent of the total number of users, and North West had 0.06 per cent, which was the least of all the regions with 166 users.
In terms of infrastructure roll out, the NCC report stated that a total of 58,755 base transceiver stations (BTS) and co-location towers were recorded.
Out of these, the report stated that 34,033 base stations representing 58 per cent were owned by the mobile network operators (MNOs).
According to the statistics, the mobile operators added 3,396 new base stations in 2019, having reported a total of 30,637 base stations in 2018.
The report said: “As at December 2019, MTN owned the highest number of base stations standing at 16,796 base stations.”
By December 2019, Airtel had deployed 8,924 BTS; Glo had a total of 7,516 base stations; Ntel owned 675 BTS; 9mobile had 120 BTS, while Smile owned two base stations.
Findings showed that the top five states with the highest number of base stations were Lagos, 5,375; Ogun, 2,122; Rivers, 1,989; FCT, 1,826, and Oyo, 1,446.
States with the least number of base stations are Yobe, 244; Zamfara, 248; Gombe, 305; Jigawa, 316; Ebonyi, 328, and Kebbi, 330.
In terms of fibre optic, as at the year under review, On-land Fibre Optics in km was deployed as follows; MTN 14,612km; Glo 13,255km; Airtel 11,201km; EMTS 4,650km, and Ntel 180km.
In this segment, a total of 43,898.10km of fibre was laid in 2019 as against 40,370km laid in 2018. This is an increase of 8.74% of fibre outlay across the country in Year 2019.
With the Commission`s engagement with the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), led by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, and the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), NCC, Prof. Umaru Danbatta, most governors have signed harmonized right of way (ROW) charges of N145.00 per linear meter into law. Hence, the fibre outlay in Nigeria is expected to increase by the end of 2020.
Further, as at December 2019, submarine fibre optics was deployed by four mobile operators as follows: MTN14,908 km; Glo 9,800km; Airtel 14km, and Ntel 70km.
NCC said the total submarine fibre deployment increased from 21,779km in 2018 to a total of 24,792km in 2019, which was an increase of 13.83 per cent within the years under consideration.
A further analysis of the fibre optics deployed illustrates that of the total 55,712.4km fibre deployed as at December 2019; 30,920.1km was used on-land, while 24,792km was submarine. MTN had the largest on-land and submarine deployment of 14,612km and 14,908km respectively as at December, 2019.