In 2013, the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) carried out a study with the objective of identifying clusters of voice telephony and transport network gap in the country. The result of the study would assist the USPF in designing projects and strategies to cover these gaps and ensure that everyone irrespective of locality is connected in the 21st century Nigeria.
In order to achieve the objective of the study, the following methodology was adopted:
- Existing service coverage areas were identified using BTS data supplied by mobile operators (with geographical coordinates, addresses etc).
- This was followed by fieldwork, interviews and drive tests to authenticate the service status of the areas identified;
- Using inferences from the field activities, reliable service coverage was assumed to be within 5 km of a BTS, areas beyond this threshold is taken as underserved (that is, having very poor signal) and/ or unserved;
- Subsequently, areas considered underserved or unserved were grouped and mapped into contiguous clusters on a state-by-state basis;
- In all, a total of 207 clusters were established with an estimated population of about 36.8 million people. The clusters are grouped according to five population density ranges and are represented in different colours, while serviced areas are represented in white colour as presented below:
No of Clusters
2,500 - 50,000
50,001 - 100,000
100,001 - 200,000
200,001 - 500,000
500,001 - 906,000
Areas with Coverage
Each cluster has been defined and their attributes (such as major towns, occupation, institutions and vegetation type amongst others) identified. A visual presentation of the clusters is accessible in basic and interactive form.