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Nigeria adds 925,895 new subscribers to telecoms network



About 925,895 new subscribers joined the various telecommunications networks in Nigeria in July, according the latest statistics released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The NCC statistics, which was released yesterday, showed that the number grew from 174, 024, 116 in June to 174, 950,011 in the period under review. Within this period, the country’s teledensity leaped by one per cent climbing from 91 per cent in June to 92 per cent in July.

The number of Internet users in the country also grew by 389,339, moving from 122, 292,079 in June to 122, 681, 418 in July.

The statistics showed that between June and July, India’s Bharti Airtel, trading in Nigeria as Airtel, got more Internet subscribers with 428,012 new subscriptions. The Sunil Bharti Mittal owned firm, which last week celebrated crossing 100 million subscription mark across its 14 African countries of operation, is followed by Globacom, which garnered 102,017 new subscriptions. MTN got 14, 353 new online users. 9Mobile, whose operations got a lift with $230 million loan facility from African Finance Corporation (AFC), shed some weight, losing 237,703 customers.


Further analysis of the statistics showed that in terms of market share, Airtel has displaced Globacom to become the second largest telecommunications operator in Nigeria. The table showed that MTN remains the largest operator with 38 per cent market share, serving 65 million Nigeria. Airtel, which had been in third position for four years now, is second with 46.8 million users and 26.80 per cent market share. Globacom is third with 46.7 million subscribers and 26.70 per cent market share. 9Mobile is fourth with nine per cent control and 15.7 million users.

Broadband penetration marginally rose by 0.41 per cent in July, with the country now having 64.36 million users in July, as against June’s 63.5 million.

Commenting on crossing the 100 million mark in Africa, Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Africa, Raghunath Mandava, said: “Airtel Africa has crossed the 100-million subscriber mark. The positive momentum we have seen in customer acquisition further underpins our medium-term aspirations for revenue and profit growth.”

Accordingly, the growth in the Africa market mitigates the impact of challenge that the company is facing in India. From peak customer base of around 381 million in June 2017, subscriber base of Bharti Airtel has now dipped to 324 million in two years.

During the same period, it gained around 20 million new customers in Africa operations.

The company said a combination of an under-penetrated telecom market, a young addressable population and rising smartphone affordability, along with low data penetration and an under-banked population, would drive the growth opportunities for the data and mobile money segments moving forward in Africa.

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