The number of connected telephone lines in the country increased to 216 million from 210 million between January and March this year, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission.

The commission noted that the increase was amid fluctuation in the country’s telephone density “of between 108 per cent and 106 per cent within the period under review.”

According to NCC statistics, the sector added 1,270,766 telephone lines to the already existing ones in the three-month period.

Out of the 216 million connected lines, only 149 million are active, with the Global System for Mobile communications operators having 147 million lines; the Code Division Multiple Access controlling 1.2 million, while the fixed wired/wireless operators have 176,579 lines.

The GSM operators, which had 210 million connected lines in January, increased their spread to 211 million in March, while the CDMA lines increased from 3,678,068 to 3,678,796. The fixed wired/wireless lines moved from 351,625 to 353,830.

From the analysis presented by the regulatory body, MTN has the largest market share with 39 per cent or 57 million subscribers.

Globacom has 23 per cent share of the market and services 34.6 million customers.

Airtel, also on 23 per cent market share, services 33.9 million users, while Etisalat, which started operations in the country about seven years ago, has 15 per cent market share with 21.8 million customers.

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, had two weeks ago stated in Lagos that about 33.7 million people were unserved and underserved with telecommunications services in the country.

“The unserved population in Nigeria has been reduced from 36.8 million (24.5 per cent) in 2013 to 33.7 million (22.5 per cent) in 2015 based on the Access Gap Study and using the 150 million population benchmark,” he said.


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