Internet subscription rose to 160m in 2023 as telephone connections drop – NCC

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says the country’s teledensity dropped from 115.63 percent in August 2023 to 102.97 percent in November 2023.

Teledensity is an index prescribed by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for the measurement of the number of telephone connections in a region, compared with its population.

Reuben Muoka, NCC’s director of public affairs, in a statement on Tuesday, said the drop was due to the recently released telecommunications statistical indicators, which were adjusted to reflect the latest population growth figures and align with international best practices.


According to Muoka, the adjustment was predicated upon the Nigerian Population Commission’s (NPC) projection of the country’s population at 216,783,381, as of 2022, replacing the previously used 2017 projection of 190 million people.

He noted that the modification by the commission is consistent with section 89 subsection 3(d) of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 (NCA 2003).

He also said there was a steady increase in active voice and internet subscriptions across the country.

“With the consequential adjustment, which is in line with the ITU’s calculation of teledensity, the nation’s teledensity dropped from 115.63 percent to 102.30 percent in September,” he said.

“While broadband penetration witnessed a similar drop from 45.47 percent to 40.85 percent in the same month.

“The active voice subscription statistics witnessed a marginal growth from 220,361,186 to 221,769,883 as of September 2023.

“In addition, Internet subscriptions also enjoyed a marginal growth, from 159,034,717 in August 2023 to 160,171,757 in September 2023.”

Mouka said in October 2023, the industry also experienced a 0.19 percent growth in active voice subscriptions while teledensity stood at 102.49 percent.

The NCC communications director added that internet subscriptions increased by 0.60 percent in October compared to September 2023.

For November of the same year, Muoka said the industry experienced a 0.46 percent growth in active voice subscriptions, while teledensity stood at 102.97 percent with a 0.57 percent surge in internet subscriptions when compared to October 2023.

“The commission is mandated to monitor and report on the state of the Nigerian telecommunications industry, provide statistical analysis and identify industry trends concerning services, tariffs, operators, technology, subscribers, and issues of competition,” Muoka said.

In the statement, Aminu Maida, executive vice-chairman of NCC, affirmed the nation’s telecom statistical adjustment process as an appropriate step to maintain the integrity of data about the Nigerian telecom industry as collected, collated, and published by the commission.

Maida also said this would also ensure the accurate measurement of the commission’s progress towards attaining increased broadband penetration rates, improved quality of service, and increased population coverage.

He said such data provides information for both the ITU (to which Nigeria belongs), and other development agencies as well as the operators, investors, multilateral agencies, and the public.