How the entry of the global system for mobile communications (GSM) ten years ago has helped to rev up the economy of Nigeria, will be the focus of discussions by stakeholders at a one-day forum tagged ‘A Decade of GSM Forum’.
The event put together by a group of ICT magazine publishers in Nigeria, including eWorld, CommunicationsWeek, IT Edge News.Com, IT World, and eBusiness Life magazines, is slated to hold August 2011.
Nigeria’s much touted mobile telecommunication revolution started 10 years ago to begin a positive process that has impacted in virtually all sectors of the economy including the financial, oil & gas, health and education sectors among others. Active players in the market of nearly 90 million subscribers include MTN Nigeria, Bharti Airtel Nigeria, Globacom Nigeria and Etisalat Nigeria.
According to a 2010 findings by the London based Pyramid Research the annual revenue from mobile services represents about 4% of Nigeria’s Nominal GDP while that of many African countries is between 2% and 7% to indicate a rising influence of the telecom sector in the overall performance of economy. Apart from leading the continent, Nigeria is one of the world’s most outstanding successes in terms of uptake of mobile telephony since the service was first launched in August 2001.
Recently at a forum the NCC Executive Vice Chairman Dr. Eugene Juwah, described the GSM revolution as one of the most outstanding landmarks of the country’s political democratization and the consequent shift to economic liberalization.
He said that “with only about 400,000 lines in 2001, with a dismal 0.4 teledensity, the number of active lines by end of January 2011 stood at 89.8 Million lines, resulting in an impressive teledensity of 64.16. In terms of growth, Nigeria is ranked the largest and fastest growing telecom market in Africa and among the ten fastest telecom growth markets in the world, an indication of its robustness to return on investments.
“From a private sector investment of about US$50 Million in 1999 when the current democratic regime came in place, the telecom industry in Nigeria has by end of 2009, attracted more than US$18 Billion in private sector investments, including Direct Foreign Investment.