By Charles Abuede
The total number of telecom subscribers in Nigeria grew by 6.32 per cent to 196.38 million in the first half of 2020 data released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and accessed by Business A.M. on its website have shown.
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The data also show that between January and June 2020, there were about 11.68 million new telecom subscribers, raising the number from 184.69 million as at the start of January to 196.38 million by the close of June 2020, representing a 6.32 per cent increase within the period. It also grew by 3.75 per cent or 7.1 million between end of the first and second quarters from 189.18 million to 196.38 million respectively.
Total internet subscribers grew by 5.51 per cent in H1 2020, rising by about 7.49 million from 135.83 million in March to 143.32 million in June with a teledensity rate of 102.88 in the first half of 2020.
Industry leader, MTN Nigeria, accounts for the highest number of mobile subscribers with 78.75 million by the end of the half, with that number growing from 73.57 million subscribers recorded at the end of March. This figure represents a growth of 7.04 per cent in the number of mobile subscribers in the market.
Globacom follows on the log with 52.57 million from 51.86 million subscribers as at end of March. The network provider, however, had a slower pace of growth in the number of subscribers at just 1.37 per cent by the close of H1, the NCC data show.
Airtel was not left behind as it rallied in its subscriber base with a rise of 2.28 per cent to 52.46 million from the initial 51.29 million in March. The growth can be attributed to the increase in the value-added services such as Airtel TV offered by the network which has gained traction from lovers of entertainment, as occasioned by the lockdown in the wake of the pandemic, and more affordable data rates that appeal to customers’ emotion. These services have significantly contributed to the telecom operator’s subscriber numbers, hence, the increase in revenue as it recently reported in its half-year financials.
On the other hand, Emerging markets Telecommunication Services (EMTS), popular known as 9mobile, witnessed negative performance, declining by -0.083 per cent to 12.11 million from 12.12 million. Moreover, the network provider has over the years experienced tumultuous operations resulting in a recurring decline in its subscriber’s base owing to inconsistent and unsatisfactory service offerings.
The telecoms market in Nigeria has shown itself to be very competitive even as it continues to show sign of growth with players in the industry positioning to offer improved services in a concerted effort to gain higher market share and generate higher revenues.