Connect with us


Over 60% of Nigerian telecom subscribers still on 2G, says NCC


Spread The News

Almost 8 years after the 4G rollout by network operators, the latest statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) revealed that 60.3% of subscribers in the country were still on 2G as of August 2023.

The telecom industry statistics further show that 10% of the over 220 million subscriptions were on 3G, a higher generation of 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.

According to the Commission, subscriptions for 4G, which the operators started rolling out in 2016 still stood at 28% as of August, while the latest technology launched in 2022 accounted for 0.83% of subscriptions in the country.

While the operators said they have achieved over 80% of 4G coverage, the low pace of migration by subscribers is attributed to device constraints.

Recently on the back of 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.

READ ALSO: NCC changes Nigeria’s Fixed Phone Lines numbering format to 10 digits

As you are aware, devices have to be compatible with 5G for them to be used. We have many subscribers in Nigeria who have 2G and 3G devices, and we will continue to cater to the needs of those subscribers.

“So, 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.”

Globally, the expansion of 5G has pushed internet service providers like AT&T and T-Mobile to shut down 3G service earlier in 2022, and most recently, Verizon and Vodafone have notified customers that they intend to cut off 3G-enabled devices from their networks from December 2022 and December 2023 respectively.

3G is the third generation of wireless mobile telecommunications technology which was first rolled out commercially in mid-2001 and was an upgrade over the 2G, 2.5G, GPRS, and 2.75G networks.

At the moment, it has been succeeded by the launch of 4G, 5G, and most recently, a test run of 6G in China which is a super upgrade to the service.