The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has licensed more internet service providers in Nigeria, increasing the number of companies from 151 in the early days of 2021 to 190 in 2022.  

Driving the news 
NCC granted more licenses to provide rural communities with internet services and also to achieve the country’s goal of 70% broadband penetration. 

Challenges 

  • The major challenge with Nigeria’s broadband distribution according to NCC data is that most of the internet service providers in Nigeria are concentrated in the country’s top cities, such as Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.
  • Newer telecommunication operators in Nigeria lament that the market dominance of MTN, Globacom, Airtel, and 9mobile are impeding their popularity in the retail data market. The former claim to be the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) of the telecoms market. 

The big picture 
Africa, despite its low development rate, has quite a large number of internet users with Nigeria leading the continent’s internet usage with 109 million users as of January 2022, followed by Egypt with 75 million users and South Africa with 41.19 million users to round up the top three. 

  • Regardless of the fact that 44 countries out of 54 have achieved full Internet public access in at least its major cities, the scope of coverage is still limited on the continent. 
  • In 2020, 19% of people living in Sub-Saharan African countries had no mobile network coverage. 

What they are saying 
Chief Executive Officer of VDT Communications, while speaking on behalf of service providers in the country, begged for government intervention to ensure the survival of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) of the telecoms market. 

  • The CEO added that the intervention would also ensure the participation of all ISPs in the country to achieve the implementation of the National Broadband Plan 2020-2025.
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