Statistics obtained from the Nigerian Communications Commission have shown that the telecoms sector has gained 18 new Internet Service Providers over the first half of the year despite severe competition in the industry.
As of July 17, 2020, the total number of approved ISPs around the nation exceeds 134.
In January of this year’s Internet services were licensed for InteWeb Satcom, Sol Global Link Network, Barnksforte Technology, TIS Lagos Limited.
Corridor Communications, Air-WiFi Cyberspace, WifricaData Solutions, IMI and Bryantel Technologies were approved by NCC in February and March of this year.
The NCC included in its April list of the Nigerian Internet Service Providers Cobranet, Ascom Net Int’l, AFR-IX Data Communications, Partner Mobile and Stratepro Veritas Technology.
In June and July, Elitel Universal Mobile Communications, Flexfinity Media, Infratel, Hoop Telecoms and Elitel joined as ISPs.
Pioneer Nigerian ISPs were met by strong competition when mobile network providers began selling Internet services on their largest customer base and collapsed data rates, making the industry unprofitable for small businesses.
As a result, as the ISPs are not willing to renew their licenses, there has been a major turnover in the industry.
The experts noted that they were the productive operators who sculpted a niche on their own or operated as MNO resellers.
Findings showed that, given the wholesale power, most ISPs that served the business sector lost revenues during the April lock-down due to cancellation or suspension of their service.
Recently in an interview, the Chairman, Telecommunications Operators Association of Nigeria, Mr. Olusola Teniola, said ISPs’ ability to access spectrum at the last mile was a problem.
He encouraged ISPs to recognize group networking opportunities and to offer internet access to communities without the involvement of MNOs in under-served areas.
“Community networks serve the purposes of curators in underserved and unserved areas that are adopting low-cost technology to solve issues in areas that the larger operators would not deem profitable,” Teniola said.
“It is very important that ISPs have access to innovative funding. You can create all these incentives but if an operator is struggling to gain access to reasonable funding that is not at double-digit interest rates but affordable and also matches the type of projects,” he added.
Access to funding, he says, would allow them to expand their operations, and be profitable and financially independent.