Sim porting picks up in August 2021 as MTN Nigeria gains highest subscribers

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Telecoms giant, MTN has gained the highest number of users migrating from other network providers in August through the sim porting mechanism in Nigeria. This is according to the latest industry statistics provided by the industry regulator, the Nigerian communications commission (NCC). 

According to the report, MTN Nigeria gained 2,014 users in one month. This is followed by Airtel with 1,089 and 9mobile with 244. Interestingly, the number of users porting from one network to another increased by over 450% from July (734 to 3,327).

Porting Data September 2020-August 2021. Image Source: NCC

This is a gradual rebound in porting rate across the industry. The service suffered significantly when it was shut down alongside the sim registration ban imposed by the NCC to encourage citizens to link their National Identity Numbers (NIN) with their telephone numbers. Hence, there were no sim ports between January and May 2021.

This indicates that users are gradually re-warming up to their options for better service offerings.

The industry statistics report by the commission showed that the total number of subscribers in August grew to 188,997, 799 from the 187,470,860 recorded in July 2021. With about 73 million subscribers, MTN still retains its position of having the largest market share with about 38.7% of the total subscribers in the country. 

This isn’t surprising as MTN has always retained the nation’s premier service provider. The company is the largest privately-owned mobile operator in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. 

How the other service providers compare

Globacom is the second industry leader with a 27.5% share of the subscribers’ pool.

This is with a significant rise in its GSM subscribers, from 51,137,799 in May to 51,983,266 in the month of August. The company remained the first single company to have built a high capacity submarine fibre-optic cable, popularly known as Glo-1. 

Image Source: NCC

Airtel is o the third spot with 26.91% of the current GSM subscriber market share, just slightly behind Globacom. Subscribers rose from 50,301,237in July to 50,860,024 in August. It is no doubt as the company is significantly growing its brand perception with loads of relatable TV ads. The company has also been introducing various data plans of late.

With a current market share of about 6.8% of GSM subscribers, 9mobile is on the back foot of GSM operations in Nigeria. The company has only about 13 million current GSM subscribers, and 1,716 of its users are moving their numbers to other telecom providers.

The largest in the current internet statistics for the month of August. 

Image Source: NCC

We learnt from social conversations that the users’ migration from 9Mobile services may be owing to its data plans, which users consider more expensive compared to other network operators. The telecommunications company also has a lower comparative network coverage across the nation.

Telecommunications contributions

From the industry statistics published by NCC, the telecommunications industry contributed a significant 14.42% of the nation’s GDP in the second quarter of 2021, a significant rise of 2.76% from the first quarter of the same year.

Image Source: NCC

The figures are likely so given the constant adoption of telecommunications and the rise in internet usage in the country noticeable for the past couple of years. 

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