Despite the huge buzz created around digital penetration and transformation in Nigeria, latest statistics emanating from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has revealed that 60.3 per cent of subscribers in the country are still on 2G while 61.9million, representing 28.07 per cent of the 220.7million telecoms subscribers are on the 4G network.
The data, according to NCC, was captured recently in August, 2023. The commission, while making a comparative analysis between the previous year and 2023, said this represent an increase of 3.91 per cent to 53.3million subscribers, representing 24.16 per cent recorded in July 2023.
Noting that the report was recently updated on the 28th of September, 2023, it added that the latest technology launched in 2022, 5G accounted for 0.83 per cent of subscriptions in the country, as of August, 2023.
The telecom industry umpire in its report indicated that, 10.78 per cent of subscribers are on the 3G network, launched in Nigeria in 2007. 3G ushered in the use of video calls and had significantly higher data transfer, operating at a speed of up to 2mbs, and increased bandwidth compared to the 2G network.
On the other hand, the report re pointed out that the bulk of subscribers, representing 60.32 per cent, are on the 2G network while the operators said they have achieved over 80 per cent of 4G coverage.
Reacting over the company’s acquisition of a 3G license, the Chief Technical Officer of MTN Nigeria, Mohammed Rufai, also pointed out the fact that many Nigerians are still on 2G and 3G. “While we are investing in new technology, we must also maintain the other technologies that are needed by the people that use them and the people that don’t yet have the devices for the newer technologies.
“This is the reason why we are still investing in and expanding on the old technologies, and also because the spectrum, the license allocated by NCC, and the network resources that are used for 3G can also be used on other technologies in the future, so the investment is still usable for the higher technologies when the devices are ready.”