Airtel Biggest Gainer as Nigeria’s GSM Internet Subscribers Increase by Over 200,000 Subscribers in September


Hey, lets gain back what we lost and top it up a little, okay? That’s what the Nigeria GSM operators did in September.

Latest industry stats released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday shows that there was an increase of over 200,000 in the number of GSM internet subscribers in Nigeria. New numbers stood at 122,792,291, an increase from the 122,585,515 subscribers recorded for August.

And, of the pack, Airtel happens to have led the increase with over 400,000 new subscribers to 33,198,004. Surprising right? Yeah, as over 200 thousand new subscribers were added, some other telcos were loosing subscribers.

Biggest losers

Globacom, 9mobile and Visafone all lost about 400,000 subscribers in September to now stand at 29,366,479; 29,366,479; 83,210. This is a not-too-frequent trend for Globacom who had only lost internet subscribers once this year, in February. However, for 9mobile, the telco has had a pathetic run of loosing subscribers since June 2017, and it just hasn’t come to an end despite new owners.

MTN was the only other telco to gain internet subscribers in September, about 73,000. Although it fell short of Airtel’s gain, the telco still retains its lead with 51,675,658.

On the flip side, as GSM internet subscribers had a rise, Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) subscribers took a hit, loosing about 20,000 subscribers to stand at 360,909.

Active telephone lines in the country also increased in September. The total number recorded for September is 179,176,930 at 93.87% teledensity.

Teledensity is the number of active telephone connections per one hundred (100) inhabitants in an area.

And of the total value, MTN still retained its lead with as Nigerian telco with
65,328,104 total subscribers at 36.51% of the subscriber share.

Airtel’s reign in 2nd position is short-lived, as Globacom now has 49,211,474 at 27.51%, leaving Airtel with 48,909,678 at 27.34%.

9mobile continues to trail the pack with 15,334,096 users at 8.57%. Newly added Visafone also accounts for 0.07% of the market share with its 118,842 subscribers.

9mobile leads porting activities

According to the stats, 9mobile still remains the most favourable network to port to in Nigeria. The telco had 9,823 incoming porters, its highest since September 2017 where it had over 11,000. On the other hand, Globacom remains the least desired telco to port to with just 791 incoming porters while Airtel and MTN recorded 1,720 and 2,041 respectively.

3G and 4G broadband adoption in Nigeria has been growing steadily with over 500,000 new subscribers onboarded in September.

Total number of broadband subscribers now stands at 67,580,047 (35.40%). And at this rate, the reported target of 55% by 2025 can be achieved and even eclipsed.

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