SIM-NIN Linkage: Broadband Penetration Drops To 39.79%

FG Hands Over 5G To NCC
FG Hands Over 5G To NCC

Nigeria’s broadband penetration has dropped below 40 per cent amid the Federal Government’s policy of linking the National Identification Number to SIM cards.

The country’s broadband penetration stood at 39.79 per cent in July, according to new industry statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission. It was 45.02 per cent in December 2020 before the SIM-NIN policy of the government kicked in.

In the Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020–2025, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), said, “I note with keen interest that this plan is designed to deliver data download speeds of about 25Mbps in urban areas and 10Mbps in rural areas. It also targets covering at least 90 per cent of the population and penetration rate of 70 per cent by the end of the plan’s lifetime.”

In December 2020, the NCC issued a new directive to all telecommunications companies mandating SIM cards to be linked to NIN. Since then, telcos have lost 16.68 million subscribers.

According to the NCC, last mile connectivity in Nigeria is largely mobile with comparatively lower investments made in fixed lines infrastructure within the past two decades.

It said, “Mobile coverage across Nigeria grew upon the issuance of DML licences to operators that initially deployed 2G technology to provide voice services and effectively covering greater than 89 per cent of Nigeria’s population today.

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“Demand for Internet access and availability of spectrum has stimulated the growth in 3G services which covers about 75 per cent of the population.”

The number of mobile Internet subscribers in the country fell to 139.38 million in July 2021 from 153.87 million in December 2020, according to the NCC.

Broadband subscriptions dropped by 9.99 million from 85.94 million in December 2020 to 75.95 million in July 2021.

The Minister, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, said recently, “Broadband supports the development of the digital economy, and a focus on growing the national digital economy will also improve and diversify the nation’s traditional economy.”