" ITREALMS: Nigeria’s internet penetration records rapid growth in 3yrs

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Nigeria’s internet penetration records rapid growth in 3yrs

The latest forecast on Telecommunications Report for Nigeria by a London-based Companiesandmarkets.com has revealed that Nigeria made rapid growth in Internet penetration between 2007 and 2009, just as the first quarter of this year, Q1, 2010,
Nigeria maintained faster in mobile sector than in the same period a year earlier.

Part of the report made available to ITRealms Online, stated that Nigeria is expected to maintain the lead in the mobile sector till the end of 2014.

This coming as the report anticipated development of the nation’s fixed-line, internet, broadband and mobile sectors in the next four years.

According to the report, based on the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) outline, Nigeria showed a rapid increase in internet penetration in the country between 2007 and 2009. This, the report is an indicative of the overall progress made in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector in Nigeria following the strong growth of the telecoms sector in the last decade.

The report showed however, that for the 12 months to March 2010, the market recorded a significantly slower growth than in any other year since the full liberalization of the telecoms sector, growing in the first quarter of 2010, albeit at a slower rate than the previous quarter.

They quoted the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), as saying that the country’s mobile market gained only12.5 million subscribers in 12 months to March 2010, thus reflecting a 19.5 per cent, year-on-year growth.

This was significantly lower than the 19.5mn new subscribers in the 12 months to March 2009, which reflected a 44.1 per cent during the same period.

The company jointly founded by the duo of Mike King and Paul Chapman as the chief executive officers, said they believe this could be an early sign of a tailing off in the Nigerian mobile market given the near saturation of mobile services in urban and semi-urban areas.

“By contrast, the majority of rural areas are still underserved. High roll-out cost, low revenue intake and poor levels of security are some of the factors limiting rural roll-out in Nigeria. To this end, we believe that the market will see slower growth going forward even though mobile penetration still hovers around just 50 per cent,” they stated in part of the report made available to ITRealms Online.

Equally they noted that perhaps the biggest development in the mobile sector in the last few months was the introduction of the Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) registration.

“After many months of uncertainty, the regulator, with full backing from the government, commenced the exercise on May 1 2010,” the report declared.

Buyers of new SIMs in the country, the report added, are now required to register their personal and biometric data with their preferred service provider for onward storage in a central database that could be accessed by the regulator and some security agencies in the country.

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