The level of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) uptake in Nigeria is gradually improving as the country’s ICT Development Index (IDI) grew by 0.18 percent between 2010 and 2011, according to a new report by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
The ITU report reveals that in developed economies such as United States (USA), mobile revenues represent on average 47 percent of total telecoms revenues, noting that in these countries, mobile data were the most important driver of revenue growth in the mobile segment of telecoms. ITU disclosed this in its 2012 report, ‘Measuring the Information Society’, prepared by the ICT Data and Statistics Division within the Telecommunication Development Bureau of the UN specialised agency that coordinates the global telecoms industry.
As at 2011, out of the 155 countries included in the IDI data provided by ITU in the report, Nigeria ranked 122. The country recorded 1.93 and 1.75 percent in 2011 and 2010, respectively. According to ITU, this slight increase is partly attributable to the lower starting values in the country, but it also reflects the rapid uptake of ICT services such as mobile Internet. ITU reveals that the surge in numbers of mobile-broadband subscriptions in developing countries has brought the Internet to a multitude of new users.
“The emergence of mobile Internet services (both prepaid and postpaid) has played a key role in the surge in numbers of mobile-broadband subscriptions in developing countries, bringing Internet to a large number of users who have limited access to fixed-broadband services.”
Meanwhile, Nigeria also ranked among the least connected countries with Ghana, Senegal, Ghana and some other developing countries. Furthermore, ITU recommends that priority should be given to the least connected countries when it comes to ICT for development. The international body further notes that the countries in the least connected categories lack infrastructure and skills needed to increase ICT penetration and usage. As such, keen attention should be paid to this group of countries by policy-makers at both the national and international levels.
Telecommunications, according to the ITU report, is an infrastructure-intensive business requiring large-scale and long-term capital outlays with income earned on investment taking time to materialise and spreading out over several years.