Abuja, Nigeria. MAY 17th, 2016 – Today, 17th May 2016, marks the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD 2016). In commemoration of the day, NOIPolls is releasing a throwback of some previously released polls tracking Nigeria’s foray into the telecoms industry. With Nigeria’s launch of the Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication in 2001, when teledensity was merely 0.5 percent, recent statistics from Nigerian Communications Communication (NCC) put the country’s teledensity at 106.25 percent (March 2016) ; revealing an astronomical growth in access to telecommunication in 15 years. To substantiate these statistics, trended poll results by NOIPolls have also shown that most Nigerians make use of two lines, and this has grown from 45 percent in 2012 to 49 percent in 2015.
Inspite of the sector’s growth and its attendant benefits which include employment, access to internet and data, improved means of communication and information sharing, supporting start-up companies, access to affordable means of communication, creating an innovative workplace, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of over 18 billion dollars and an addition of 4 percent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) amongst others; the sector is still bedeviled with a number of challenges. Customers have consistently complained of issues such as high tariff, poor network service, undue credit deductions, dropped calls, excessive billing, charges for services not rendered etc. In this regard, the sector which has been considered hugely successful, has greater potentials for the future if the challenges identified by subscribers could be effectively dealt with.
With the current expansion of the Nigerian telecoms industry owing to the introduction of new service and product offerings, it has become pertinent for NCC (which is empowered to establish minimum Quality of Service (QoS) standards) and other stakeholders to become more vigilant to ensure that consumers continue to have access to high quality telecommunications. We join the world today to celebrate the WTISD 2016
The introduction of GSM phones in Nigeria revolutionized the telecommunications industry as in 15 years, (2001-2016) the country’s tele-density has grown from 0.5 percent to over 106 percent (NCC 2016). The sector remains one of the fastest growing sectors of the Nigerian economy; this astronomical growth can be attributed to the launch of Global System for Mobile (GSM) Communication. In 2001, Econet (now Airtel) and MTN Nigeria were licensed to launch their GSM network services, in quick succession was Globacom (now Glo) in 2003 and then Etisalat in 2007. Stiff competition also played a major role as telecoms companies in the scramble for subscribers, have made concerted efforts to extend their services outside of major cities and into rural areas.
Over all, Nigeria’s telecoms industry has recorded huge successes and made giant strides technologically but it still faces hurdles that must be surmounted as factors like winds and rainfall still affect the performance of telecommunications and the manufacturing of some or all of the equipment used by the sector is still not localized leading to a lack of expansion in the sector.
Results from polls conducted by NOIPolls show that over the years, more Nigerians have adapted the use of two lines either from the same network provider or from two different operators. This trend has consistently increased from 2012 (45 percent) to 2015 (49 percent) with a total of 4-points within the period in view. Apart from the non-reliance of subscribers on one line due to some issues generally associated with mobile telecommunications in Nigeria, this trend may also have been promoted by an increased introduction of dual sim mobile devices in to the market, thus making it less expensive and more convenient to own more than one phone line.
Analysis on value for money in the telecoms sector showed that some subscribers believed they weren’t getting appropriate value for their money’s worth and when probed further, results indicated that subscribers who reported they were not receiving value for money mainly emphasized high tariff, poor network service, poor promotions and undue credit deduction from their mobile network operators. This findings cuts across all operators, although with varying degree for individual operators.
In conclusion, issues of high tariffs, poor network service and undue loss of credit have been recurring in the four years of tracking the Telecoms Industry and these problems are yet to abate, the National Communications Comission (NCC) must work with telecoms companies to address these issues. Policy makers must also note that telecommunication is unarguably a very important sector as its operations remain critical for the efficiency of other sectors. The advancement of ICT and Telecommunications is a huge imperative, as it has been said that Technology is the world’s next big thing making it the Holy Grail for nations looking to exit the recession. Nigeria as a nation currently facing an economic downturn needs to explore the huge potentials in ICT as a means of diversifying the economy and creating much needed jobs.
These results are from public opinion polls conducted between 2012 and 2015 involving a mix of face-to-face and telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample of Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geopolitical zones in the country, were interviewed. With a sample of this size, we can say with 95% confidence that the results obtained are statistically precise - within a range of plus or minus 3%. NOIPolls Limited is the No1 for country specific polling services in West Africa. We conduct periodic opinion polls and studies on various socio-economic and political issues in Nigeria. More information is available at www.noi-polls.com
This press release has been produced by NOIPolls Limited to provide information on all issues which form the subject matter of the document. Kindly note that while we are willing to share results from our polls with the general public, we only request that NOIPolls be acknowledged as author whenever and wherever our poll results are used, cited or published.
NOIPolls hereby certifies that all the views expressed in this document accurately reflect its views of respondents surveyed for the poll, and background information is based on information from various sources that it believes are reliable; however, no representation is made that it is accurate or complete. Whilst reasonable care has been taken in preparing this document, no responsibility or liability is accepted for errors or fact or for any views expressed herein by NOIPolls for actions taken as a result of information provided in this report. Any ratings, forecasts, estimates, opinions or views herein constitute a judgment as at the date of this document. If the date of this document is not current, the views and content may not reflect NOIPolls’ current findings and/or thinking.
 NCC. March 2016, Subscriber Statistics
 NigerianBestForum News
 Onwumechili, C. 2001. Dream or reality: Providing Universal access to basic telecommunications in Nigeria? Telecommunications Policy. 25: 219-231