Analysis: Nigeria Now Has 98m Internet Subscribers and 9mobile is Highest Gainer

David Afolayan
Analysis: Nigeria Now Has 98m Internet Subscribers and 9mobile is Highest Gainer, Are Smartphones Really Making People Smarter?
It’s an affair for smartphones

The latest industry statistics released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for the month of December 2017 showed that 9mobile, formerly Etisalat Nigeria has the highest number of inward porting despite the lingering uncertainty over the future of the company.

NB: Incoming (Inward) Porting means the number of numbers ported from another service provider’s network into a service provider’s own network.

The report showed that 9mobile had a total of 5,177 subscribers joined its network in the month of December and lost 1,447. This made it the biggest beneficiary of the porting system. MTN had the most loss with 2,775 porting from the network while 1,538 left in its fold.NCC- Porting Activities of Mobile Network Operators

Here is an overview of the distribution pattern:

Nigeria has 144m Telephone Subscribers

The NCC report also showed that Nigeria has a total of 144,631,678 active subscribers for telephony services on each of the licensed service providers utilizing different technologies including GSM, CDMA, Fixed Wireless and Fixed Wired (i.e. Landline).

This portends a lot of opportunities for coverage and service delivery if the mobile channel can be fully harnessed.

The report also indicated that MTN has 36% of the subscribers share with 52,272,687 users. Globacom follows with 38,169,780 subscribers (26%). Airtel closely rivals Globacom with 37,233,819 (26%) and 9mobile trails the pack with 16,955,392 users (12%).NCC- Telephone Subscribers

Going by the recent realities there may not be the predicted tectonic shift in the industry anytime soon. Experts project that Globacom is most likely to win the bid to acquire 9Mobile is gradually losing steam. So, Globacom may not be on its way to becoming the largest mobile operator in Nigeria, ahead of the perennial leader, MTN Nigeria.

Subscribers Teledensity

If we go by the national population of 140 million (according to 2006 Last Census Population Figure), this also implies that there 103.61% active telephone connections per one hundred (100) inhabitants living within the country.NCC- Subscriber - Teledensity

This only testifies of how much duplicated sim cards an average Nigerian has to him/herself

FACT: Most Nigerians Browse Using the Major Networks

The report also indicated that the vast majority of subscribers are utilizing data services from the major GSM services providers of all other standards currently deployed in Nigeria.  The GSM providers, in fact, have 99.70% of users on their services. The CDMA providers have 0.15% share. The Fixed Wireless/wired has 0.09% share and VoIP has 0.04%.NCC- Internet Subscriber Data

The GSM providers 99.70% share translates to 141,900,405 internet subscribers. Of this figure, MTN Nigeria has the majority of 36,069,597 (of 51,414,345 users). Globacom has 37,467,184 (despite the complaints). Airtel has 23,985,203 and 9Mobile has 11,338,839 subscribers to its credit.

The CDMA’s 0.15% translates to 30,309 subscribers. Fixed wireless 0.09% users translate to 11,962. And, the VoIP share of 0.045 equals 265,583.

Nigeria has 98m Internet Users

The report shows that Nigeria has a total of 98,391,456 internet users as at December 2017. That is an increase of 3.5m (3,572,903) from the 94,818,553 of the month before.NCC- Subscriber by Operator

This further indicates the huge potential in the market (in the figures are indeed truly reflective of the active data users). Industry watchers have questioned the reliability of these figures in the past. If truly half Nigerian internet users have access to broadband, why do we have such low adoption of online technology?

I think NCC’s data should offer deeper insights into the demography of this 98m (more or less) users, going forward

Telecoms Contributes 9.5% to GDP

Finally, the report pegs the contribution of Telecoms Industry to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria by at 9.5% Q2 2017. This is a slight decline from 9.13% at the same period in 2016.NCC- Contribution of Telecoms Industry to GDP

This clearly reflects the state of the much-celebrated industry in the face of our present national reality. This decline meant a loss of jobs, livelihood and the death of many auxiliary businesses.


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