Telecoms operators’ growth profile slows in Q1
The Guardian checks showed that the combined growth rate of the quartet of MTN, Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat went down by 0.86 per cent in quarter one 2016.
Specifically, according to the data obtained from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Monday, MTN for obvious reasons recorded major fall in the period under review, which impacted on the collective growth of the MNOs for the quarter. MTN, according to the statistics fell by 6.87 per cent.
The duo of Globacom and Airtel earned major growths, recording 4.88 per cent and 4.95 per cent respectively. Etisalat, which is in it seventh year in the country, recorded 1.28 per cent growth in the period under review.
Going by the statistics, it appeared that it was only Airtel, owned by India’s billionaire, Sunil Bharti Mittal that recorded the highest growth between Q4 of 2015 and Q1 of 2016. According to the NCC statistics, Airtel grew from 3.64 per cent to 4.95 per cent in the period under review.
Globacom moved from 5.41 per cent in Q4 of last year to 4.88 per cent in the first quarter of 2016, while Etisalat moved from negative 5.67 per cent in 2016 to negative 1.28 per cent now.
Further analysis of the statistics showed that the MNOs in Q3 of 2015 recorded 1.32 per cent growth and 0.17 per cent in Q4, but for some regulatory reasons and economic downturn in the country, their combined growth stood at negative 0.86 per cent.
In addition, the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) sub-Sector, which has Visafone (now owned by MTN) and moribund Multilinks, their growth suffered a serious dip, recording negative 45.55 per cent fall in 2016 Q1 as against 5.23 per cent growth last quarter of 2015.
The April subscribers’ statistics showed that the country’s telephone density fall from 106.25 per cent in March to 105.41 per cent in April 2016. Though the number of connected lines went from 215.7 million in March to 218.7 per cent in April, the number of active telephone lines dipped from 148.7 million to 147.5 million in the period of under review, which showed that the Average Revenue per User index is getting slimmer.
Though MTN was most hit, the telecommunications firm still controls 39 per cent of the market, amounting to 57 million subscribers. It is followed at a distance by Globacom, which has 23 per cent market share and 34.6 million subscribers. Airtel is closely following Globacom with 33. million subscribers and 23 per cent market share. Etisalat is fourth with 22 million subscribers representing 15 per cent of the market.
Already, MTN Group grew its total subscriber base by one per cent to 230.3 million over the year to end-April; even after suffering a seven per cent drop in the number of its Nigerian customers and 11 per cent drop in Ugandan customers, based on the need to comply with stricter registration requirements in the countries.