Nigerian Telecom Subcriber Base Declines for the First Time Since August 2018

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NCC had queried 6 telcos over call masking before releasing its report

Nigerian telecom subscriber base has witnessed its first decline since August 2018. According to NCC stats for the month of February, total number of telecom subscribers declined from 174,012,136 to 173,670,035. And teledensity dropped from 124.29 to 124.05.

Nigerian Telecom Subcriber Base Declines For the First Time Since August 2018

On the surface this seems like a minor teledensity decline but in reality, the industry just lost nearly 400,000 users in one month.

However, NCC stats didn’t explain why this happened.

Moving on though, the decline in subscribers was most felt by MTN as Nigeria’s biggest telco lost over 1 million subscribers in February. This is a very noticeable decline. Additionally, this means MTN has now lost users for two months straight. After reaching 67,113,008 users in December, the telco had lost over 1.4 million users since then.

But MTN is not the only telco to lose subscribers as Glo also lost 600,000 subscribers in February. Airtel flat lined, gaining just 5,000 in the same month.

Meanwhile, the embattled telco company, 9mobile was the only telco to shine in February as the company gained 400,000 users. This the fourth straight month 9Mobile’s customer base has grown since it stopped losing users in October 2018.

Nigerian Telecom Subcriber Base Declines For the First Time Since August 2018

And every month since, the telco has added at least 400,000 new subscribers.

Importantly too, the resurge in its user base parallels the conclusion of Teleology’s takeover of the telco.

Stats reveal that the move has helped stabilize the company’s operations.

However, following a recent court order reversing all the selling process, 9mobile looks vulnerable once again. The court order threatens to undo all gains the telco has recorded in the last five months.

But while 9mobile has been gaining new mobile subscribers, its internet subscribers continue to fall. The telco had lost internet subscribers every month since April 2017. Its total number of internet subscribers now stands at 9.8 million. This is paltry compared to the other telcos.

MTN for instance now has 46,538,633 Internet subscribers. It grew from 45.9 million in January. GLO also grew its internet subscriber base from 27,600,539 to 27,686,271. Meanwhile Airtel now has 30,891, 518 users, up from 30,460,528 users.

Meanwhile, broadband penetration continues to grow in Nigeria. According to the NCC, 63,136,978 people are now connected to broadband subscriptions, which means broadband penetration now stands at 33.08%.

On porting activities, 9mobile remains the most popular network as it gained over 4,000 new customers via porting. The closest telco, MTN recorded 1,583. While Airtel and GLO gained 1,268 and 868 new users via porting.

All telcos lost over 1,100 subscribers each to porting. GLO recorded the most losses at 2,281, 9mobile lost 1,801, Airtel dropped 1,179 and MTN lost 1,643.


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