The telecommunications regulator, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has so far approved 1,843 cell phones for use in the country. The devices, which are of different brands and models, are those that have been tested and found to comply with the applicable type approval standards required to enable them to be sold to Nigerian consumers.
In April 2021, the number of phones approved by the NCC stood at 1,653. This shows that mobile phone manufacturers got approval for 190 new phone models last year.
The latest data on approved phones seen by Nairametrics shows that Chinese mobile phone makers still dominate the mobile phone market in the country in terms of approved devices. Tecno led the pack with more than 200 models of its phones approved, followed by other Chinese brands such as Huawei and ZTE.
What you should know
- With more than 197 million active mobile subscriptions in February 2022, the country remains a real market for mobile manufacturers around the world.
- Counterfeit or substandard phones affect the quality of service users get and also pose a health risk to users.
- The regulatory approval of phones was intended to ensure that phones and devices used in the country meet quality standards.
- Despite regulatory efforts, thousands of unapproved phone brands are still being sold across the country.
- ·While unapproved phones are in most cases substandard or counterfeit, they sell faster than approved phones because they are sold at lower prices.
What CNC says
Speaking on the steps taken to ensure that all phones in the country are homologated, NCC Executive Vice-Chairman Prof. Umar Danbatta recently warned Nigerians not to buy any phone that has not been certified for the market by the regulator.
Danbatta, who has disapproved of the proliferation of counterfeit handsets in the country, said: “The threat of counterfeit and substandard handsets has taken on a global dimension and requires a great deal of consumer education and collaboration with other government agencies to address it.
“Cases of influx and patronage of counterfeit handsets are more prevalent in developing countries, such as Nigeria, where importers import substandard phones without going through the regulatory approval process to certify that these devices are suitable at the market”.