Thursday , December 9 2021

National Numbering Plan Review: NCC to connect 500million Nigerians, One billion devices by 2025

The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has revealed its plan to review the National Numbering Plan (NNP) so as to meet the demand of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Nigeria.

It was projected by the telecom regulator that the development of the new National Numbering Plan, NP will help to provide numbers that will satisfy the needs of the projected 500 million Nigerians to be connected and about 1 billion globally-interconnected machines and devices by 2050.

NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta stated this in a remark he made yesterday during the Fourth Edition of the Information Communication Technology & Telecommunications (ICTEL) Exhibition, organized by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) in Lagos.

In the remark, Danbatta, who was represented by Ismail Adedigba, Head, Information & Reference, Consumer Affairs Bureau at NCC, disclosed that it is taking the decision based on recent developments in the global telecommunications industry such as M2M communications, the IoT, OTT and others, and other services made possible by fourth-generation networks and the futuristic 5G/6G technologies.

“As you may be aware, numbering plan is very key to telecommunications services for proper identification of devices and key services and as such we are reviewing the existing National Numbering Plan (NNP) with the objective of developing a new NNP that is robust, futuristic and adaptable to address the numbering needs of the country taking into account the country’s growing population,” he said.

The Commission believes that new services have emerged in the Nigerian digital space and there is a need to integrate such services into the telecom environment.

Also, people are now interested in having all their communication services as voice, data, short messaging services (SMS), television programmes, banking services conveyed by a single device. Thus, the convergence of services requires upgrading and adopting the numbering plan to accommodate the new habits and culture.

The Commission added that the development of the new NNP will promote efficiency in the allocation of this scarce national resource; promote competition among service providers; eliminate the risk of running short of all categories of numbers; facilitate the introduction and development of new and innovative services and above all, encourage growth of the telecommunications sector, increase job creation and contribute to National Gross Domestic Product (GDP), among others.

Recall, the NCC’s Director of Policy Competition and Economic Analysis who represented Danbatta at the Telecom Executives and Regulator Forum (TERF) organised by the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) in Lagos, reflected on the evolution of Over-the-Top (OTT) technologies which are increasingly supporting future service models that are rapidly expanding across multiple communications and digital services domains.

Danbatta also pointed out the key role NNP will play in the telecom services sector, adding that the new NNP will promote a futuristic and adaptable means to address the numbering needs of the country taking into account the country’s growing population.

He said: “The Commission is upgrading, expanding and re-designing the numbering system in order to ensure the country derives the maximum benefit from its scarce resource.

“It feels good to state that our Nigerian story in the 4IR is an exciting one but more needs to be done in order for us to properly harness all these new technologies to the advantage of our country.

ALSO READ: Experts debunks NCC’s 33% broadband penetration claim

“All we need at this stage as a nation, is to join hands together to support the building of more robust telecom infrastructure that will further help to deepen the nation’s broadband penetration beyond its current figure of 33 per cent towards supporting the explosion of digital activities to be witnessed as we immerse ourselves into the realities of the 4IR.”

About Bukola Olanrewaju

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