Nigeria’s telecoms sector regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has blamed the migration of subscribers from 3G to 4G for the falling number of active subscribers, internet penetration and teledensity.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, who disclosed this, while fielding questions from reporters in Lagos during the week, said subscribers are also taking advantage of the presence of over-the-table (OTT) services to save cash.
He explained that subscribers prefer to use WhatsApp to make calls and send instant messages instead of paying through their nose to make voice calls and send text messages under a regime of high tariff.
Danbatta noted that instead of spending to make calls, subscribers pay for data bundle and move on with their lives, stressing that the trend will continue.
The NCC helmsman, while giving a report on the sector, stated that the sector’s contribution to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) has moved to nine percent, adding that since the liberalisation of the industry, it has added some N15 trillion to the economy.
He stated further that since his assumption of office as the chief executive about 18 months ago, the industry has been adding between N1.43trn and N1.45trn to the economy quarterly.
He admitted that the quality of service offered by the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) has not been impressive, but added that there was a major improvement in the first quarter.
“Indeed, almost one year ago the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) launched an 8-Point Agenda. The agenda, which drives the NCC until 2020, he said, aims, among other things, to: facilitate broadband penetration; improve quality of service; and optimize usage and benefits of spectrum.
Danbatta said that NCC desires to promote ICT innovation and investment opportunities; facilitate strategic collaboration and partnership; protect and empower consumers; promote fair competition and inclusive growth and ensure regulatory excellence and operational efficiency.