The Nigerian telecommunications market.

Nigeria's telecommunications market is forecast to grow to US$10-billion between 2005 and 2009-2010. The prediction was part of a summary of a study published by This Day (Lagos) on November 16, 2005.

This Day said that the study was conducted by Intelecon (Vancouver), a research firm specializing in telecommunications.

Currently, the Nigerian telecommunications market is estimated at US$5-billion, meaning that the market will double in five or six years.

Among the study's conclusions was the fact that Nigerian consumers spend approximately US$20 per month on telephone services. The breakdown of monthly expenditures in terms of where consumers lived was: Urban areas approximately US$25; suburban areas approximately US$19 per month, and rural areas US$14 per month.

Phone service coverage in Nigeria is not broad. The Intelecon report says that when coverage improves, the number of calls per person will rise from 2 to 3 per week to 6 to 10 per week. The report said, further, that there was almost universal interest in phone service.

And even though rural residents on average have lower incomes than urban residents, they spend a similar percentage of their income on service.

The lack of availability of telephone service generally requires a large percentage of Nigerians to travel to make calls. Of the respondents questioned, 36 percent said that they had to travel to...

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