January 2020: Mobile subscriptions in Nigeria moves to 185.74m

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Statistics released recently by the telecoms industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Mobile voice subscription across networks moved up slightly from 184.7 million in December 2019, to 185.74 million in January 2020.

The statistics, which was obtained from the NCC website, however, showed that fixed-wired line subscription reached 107,272 in January this year, up from 107,154 in December last year.

According to the statistics, 21st Century Technologies recorded 96,234 fixed-wired subscribers on its network to maintain the highest number of fixed wired lines, followed by MTN, which has 5,996 fixed-wired subscribers on its network, and Glo, which has 2,955 fixed-wired subscribers on its Glo fixed-line.

“IPNX, one of the oldest fixed-line service providers got the least number of fixed wired line subscribers of 2,087 as at January 2020.

The statistics also revealed that Visafone and Multilinks have not added any fixed wireless subscriber to their networks since April 2019.

It says that, while Visafone’s fixed wireless subscription number was 26,437 as at March last year, Multilinks’ fixed wireless subscription number was 428 as at March last year.

In the area of mobile voice subscription, the NCC statistics showed that MTN maintained the position of the largest Mobile Network Operator, MNO with a subscriber number of 70.7 million, followed by Globacom with a subscriber number of 51.8 million.

Airtel however maintained its position as the third-largest MNOs in the country, with a subscriber number of 49.9 million, followed by 9mobile, which is placed the fourth largest MNOs in the country with a subscriber number of 13.2 million.

Smile Communications was ranked the fifth-largest telecoms operator, with a subscriber number of 170,726, followed by 21 Century Technologies as the sixth-largest telecoms operator with a subscriber number of 96,234, while ntel comes next to 21st Century as seventh largest telecoms operator with a subscriber number of 3,595.

The statistics revealed that MTN maintained the position of the largest telecoms operator in the country since its rollout in 2001, adding a huge number of subscribers on its network on a yearly basis.

According to the report, as of January 2019, MTN recorded voice subscriber number of 66.7 million, and in March 2019, it recorded 65 million subscribers.

In May same year, subscriber number dropped again to 64.8 million, but in July 2019, its subscription number rose to 65.3 million and in September 2019, it further increased to 65.33 million. In October 2019, its subscription increased to 65.9 million and in December 2019, it recorded 68.8 million, before reaching 70.7 million in January 2020.

In January, Globacom recorded 45.6 million mobile subscribers, and in March same year, Globacom subscription dropped to 46.2 subscribers, but in May 2019, Globacom subscription rose to 46.5 million and July 2019, Globacom subscription rose further to 46.7 million. In September 2019, Globacom subscription rose again to 49.2 million, and in November 2019, the subscription figure reached 51.2 million, and December 2019, it climbed to 51.7 million, before reaching 51.8 in January 2020.

Airtel, according to NCC’s statistics, recorded 44.9 million in January 2019, and in March same year, it recorded 45.2 million mobile subscribers. In May 2019, Airtel recorded 45.6 million subscribers and in July 2019, it recorded 46.8 million subscribers.

In September 2019, it recorded 48.9 million subscribers and in November same year, it recorded 49.6 million subscribers on its network. In December 2019, Airtel recorded 50.19, before dropping to 49.99 in January 2020.

For Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which ntel and Smile are currently operating, ntel had in January 2019 recorded subscriber number of 6,498, but the figure dropped consecutively same year in February, March, April, and May, to reach 4,321 subscribers in June 2019, before picking up in July same year to 4,556 subscribers and further increased to 4,579 in August but dropped again to 4,562 in September, with a further drop in October, November and December same year to 4,450, 4,231 and 3,904 respectively. In January 2020, it further dropped to 3,595.

Smile Communications, which also operates in the VoIP segment, has a total of 170,726 subscribers as at January 2020. In January 2019, it recorded 121,261 subscribers, and in February same year, the figure increased to 129,468, with a further increase in March (137,247), April (144,619), May (153,259), June (161,012) July (167,555) and August (169,227).

It however dropped in subscriber number in September 2019 to 162,924 and in October 2019 to 156,000, and also in November 2019 to 155, 675, before increasing to 162,164 in December 2019 and 170,726 in January 2020. Both Smile and ntel currently have a total of 174,321 subscribers on their VoIP networks.

By Peter Usman

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