- Subscriber Teledensity Nosedives in First Quarter
Subscriber teledensity in the telecoms sector has dropped from 110.80 per cent in January to 108.91 per cent in March 2017, according to the first quarter statistics on subscriber teledensity released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the telecoms industry regulator.
Nigeria had recorded a steady growth in subscriber teledensity since the inception of Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) in 2001; but in February this year, the teledensity growth rate started dwindling.
Following the steady growth rate in subscriber teledensity, the figure had reached its peak in January this year, rising to 110.80 per cent. However, a recent statistics obtained from the NCC website showed that it dropped to 110.09 per cent and 108.91 per cent in February and March respectively.
Teledensity in technical parlance is measured as the total number of active telephone connections per one hundred inhabitants living within an area and is expressed as a percentage figure.
THISDAY investigations revealed that the drop in teledensity, also affected subscribers number, which also dropped across networks from 155 million in January to 154 million in February and further dropped to 152 million in March 2017.
Worried about the development, industry stakeholders have blamed the situation on recession that is currently plaguing the Nigerian economy.
The Chief Executive Officer of Pinnet Informatics, Mr. Lanre Ajayi, said the purchasing power of Nigerians has been badly affected by the recession, which he said hampered subscribers’ ability to make regular calls. According to him, the reduction in calls, might have resulted in a reduction in congestion on the networks, which subsequently led to improved quality of service, since the network became less busy with fewer calls from subscribers.
He therefore said subscribers had decided to let go their multiple lines, since the network has improved, a situation, he said must have led to the drop in the number of subscribers and teledensity.
Other stakeholders spoken to also blamed the drop in teledensity and subscriber number, on recession. According to them, subscribers do no longer have the financial capacity to recharge their multiple lines, and decided to stick to a single network operator with a single SIM as against multiple SIMs they used before now.
But the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, said the drop also affected mobile Internet subscription across networks, but blamed it on subscribers’ migration from 3G to 4G LTE technology service that is currently being offered by telecoms subscribers.
Danbatta who spoke at a media interactive session in Lagos on Tuesday, said most subscribers were dumping 3G network for 4G LTE network, which has faster speed of connectivity and cheaper data charges, apart from clearer voice quality.
According to the statistics obtained from NCC’s website, as at September 2012, teledensity was 76.69%, and as at October 2012, the figure rose to 78.21%, while in November and December 2012, the teledensity rose to 78.82% and 80.85% respectively.
In October, November and December 2013, the teledensity rose to 87.06%, 88.39% and 91.15% respectively.
Similarly, the teledensity rose to 96.87%, 97.60% and 99.39% respectively in October, November and December 2014.
In January, February and March 2015, teledensity according to the statistics, rose to 100.59%, 101.85%, and 102.81% respectively.
It was also revealed that in October, November and December 2016, teledensity hit 109.65%, 109.96% and 110.38% respectively, just as it increased in January 2017 to 110.80%, but it started experiencing a downward drive from Febrauary and March this year.
Jack Ma Plans the Biggest IPO, the Billionaire Backed Ant Group to Raise $34 Billion
Ant Group Plans to Raise the Biggest IPO Money of $34.4 Billion
Ant Group backed by Jack Ma, the founder of e-commerce platform Alibaba and the richest man in China, plans to sell shares valued at $34.4 billion or £26.5 billion on the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges.
The company’s advisers set the price on Monday as demand among top global investors surged.
Once the company is listed on the two exchanges, Ant Group would have raised the most money in a single IPO and exceeded the previous record of $29.4 billion set by Saudi Aramco in December 2019.
It should be noted that Ant, an online payment, is only selling around 11 percent of its total shares. Therefore, putting the market value of the Financial Technology (fintech) giant at around $313 billion, the exact valuation of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and four times bigger than Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
“This was the first time such a big listing, the largest in human history. We wouldn’t have dared to think about it five years, or even three years ago,” Mr Ma said of the deal.
Mr. Ma, according to findings, owned Ant shares worth around $16 billion, taking his total net worth to about $80 billion once the company is listed.
The preliminary price consultation showed institutional investors through Shangai IPO subscribed for over 76 billion shares or more than 284 times of the initial offline offering, according to the Ant Shanghai announcement.
Ant, the fintech company that runs Alipay, the main online payment system in China, said the volume of payments performed by the company in the financial year ended June 2020 was $17.6 trillion.
Alipay now has 1.3 billion users with Chinese accounting for most of its users while the rest comes from its nine e-wallet partners.
Pantami Moves to Tackle $2.16bn Capital Flight from Telecoms Sector
$2.16bn Leaves Telecommunications Sector Yearly
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has put the total capital flight from the telecommunications sector at $2.16 billion per year.
A large part of the total amount comes from those renewing and purchasing software licenses, domain subscriptions and renewals, and cybersecurity.
The minister said to stem the trend, the ministry has developed a policy to promote local content in the sector.
In his speech at the digital day celebration, Pantami said the Indigenous Content Development and Adoption, under Pillar #8 of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (2020 – 2030), would tackle the issue.
Pantami said, “As part of our efforts to promote indigenous content, we have developed a policy for promoting indigenous content in the telecom sector to complement similar efforts that focus on the information technology sector.
“This is important to stem the tide of capital flight, among other things. A report of the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria suggests that such capital flight in the telecom sector is as high as $2.16bn annually.
“A healthy digital economy requires a robust indigenous content policy to significantly reduce this.”
Pantami stated that there was an urgent need to promote and support the development of indigenous content in all sectors.
He explained that the Indigenous Content Development and Adoption pillar was addressing this for the digital economy.
“This pillar aligns with Executive Orders 003 of May 2017 and 005 of February 2018, on ‘Support for Local Content Procurements by Ministries, Department and Agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria,” he said.
Speaking on broadband, the minister said the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020-2025) was created to speed up the growth of broadband connectivity in Nigeria.
Pantami said, “The plan is designed to deliver data download speeds across Nigeria of a minimum 25Mbps in urban areas, and 10Mbps in rural areas, with effective coverage available to at least 90 per cent of the population by 2025.
“This will be at a price not more than N390 per 1GB of data (two per cent of median income or one per cent of minimum wage).”
Nigeria’s Fintech Startups Raised $122 Million in 2019
Financial Technology Startups in Nigeria Raised $122 Million in 2019
Financial Technology (fintech) startups in Nigeria raised a combined $122 million in 2019, according to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
Mr. Olumide Bolumole, the Divisional Head of Listings Business, NSE, disclosed this while speaking on the fintech industry and its growth in recent years.
“The Fintech industry in Nigeria continues to gain increasing popularity after taking the lead in Africa and attracting $122 million in funds in 2019.
“At the exchange, we recognise the opportunity to provide a platform where players in the Fintech landscape can have easier access to right-sized capital to fulfil their organisational objectives.
“The NSE is, therefore, committed to developing multiple solutions to address the needs of the Fintech community in Nigeria such as the provision of the NSE Growth Board.
“The exchange will also prioritise collaborations with organisations such as FinTechNGR to ensure solutions from this webinar are implemented for the benefit of the sector,” he said.
However, with just about 200 fintech companies in Nigeria, the sector is still young and just emerging with room for growth, considering the fact that most Nigerians are still unbanked.
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