The quartet of GSM operators including MTN, Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat have added about 3,096,890 new telephony subscribers to the network in the month of June.
This is even as Nigeria’s teledensity leaped in the month by 0.69 per cent from 106.32 per cent in May to 107.01 in June.
Teledensity or telephone density is the number of telephone connections for every hundred individuals living within an area. It varies widely across the nations and also between urban and rural areas within a country.
Relying on statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), it was discovered that while the total active GSM lines increased from 148.1 million to 149.2 million between May and June, the country’s connected lines grew from 214 million to 217 million. Further analyses showed that within the months under review, only about 990,040 of the new lines are so far active.
However, despite challenges over its failure to deactivate some unregistered lines on its network, an action which later earned it a $5.2 billion fine, which was later slashed to N330 billion by the Federal Government, MTN still controls majority of the Nigeria’s telecommunications market.
Specifically, the South African firm, which recently posted a loss of $357 million (N1.14 .05 billion) in its half-year report and a 4.8 per cent drop in its Nigerian revenue, controls 39 per cent of the market with 58.4 million subscribers.
In the MTN’s half-year report, the firm, which also planned to list its shares in Nigeria by 2017, also informed that it has added about 568,000 Visafone subscribers to its GSM network, after it completed the acquisition, which started middle 2015 in January 2016.
Globacom, which used to be at par with Airtel about three months ago, has increased its market share from 21 per cent to 24 per cent. Currently, the Chief Mike Adenuga Jr, owned telecommunications firm service 36.3 million customers in the country. India’s Bharti Airtel with 21 per cent market share has 31.9 million subscribers.
Emerging Market Telecommunications Service Firm, trading as Etisalat has 22.4 million subscribers and 15 per cent market share. As at June, while there 92.2 million Internet subscribers, MTN has 32.9 million, Globacom 26.6 million; Airtel 17.3 million and Etisalat 15.3 million. With the 149 million subscribers, Nigeria is still the largest market in Africa, followed by Egypt and South Africa.
At the recently held GSMA 360 conference in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, it was revealed that the continent’s now has 557 million unique subscribers, which was projected to reach 725 million by 2020.Unique subscription, according to the GSMA refers to users who have subscribed to mobile services at the end of the period, excluding M2M.
It explained that subscribers differ from connections such that a unique user can have multiple connections, which has been the case in Nigeria.Director-General, GSMA, Mats Granryd, said more than half a billion people across Africa are now subscribed to a mobile network, providing them not just with connectivity but a gateway to a range of other essential services in areas such as digital identity, healthcare and financial services.
“The rapid move to mobile broadband networks is also unlocking new opportunities for consumers, businesses and governments, growing an ecosystem that last year added more than $150 billion in value to Africa’s economy”, he said.
In the ‘The Mobile Economy: Africa 2016’ report, presented at the conference, it noted that network investments and smartphones are driving mobile broadband adoption on the continent.
The report found out that there were 557 million unique mobile subscribers across Africa at the end of 2015, equivalent to 46 per cent of the continent’s population, making the continent the second largest – but least penetrated – mobile market in the world.