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MTN Nigeria retains leadership of telecom industry as active subscribers hit 214 mln in Oct

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The latest statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) showed that the number of active telecommunications subscribers rose to 214.348 million in October.

This is the nation’s highest recorded number of telecom subscribers since the total number of subscribers peaked at 207.58 million in October 2020, months before the SIM-NIN linkage directive by the government.

MTN Nigeria continues to dominate the market with 38.85 percent of the market share followed by Globalcom 27.82 percent.

Airtel Nigeria unit is the third largest telecom with 27.37 percent market share while 9Mobile came distance fourth with 5.96 percent of the market.

In terms of what drove subscriber growth in 2022, telcos revealed that more subscribers were getting new SIMs in order to avoid restrictions on SIMs that were not linked to their National Identification Numbers.

MTN’s Chief Executive Officer, Karl Toriola, stated in the company’s third-quarter report that, “As a result, the average daily gross connection was 48.1 percent higher than the pre-directive level, driven in part by the cohort of subscribers who were initially restricted.”

“Combined with increased usage from the existing base, these have supported an acceleration in the service revenue growth recovery and mitigated the impact of churn on the base.”

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The consistent growth in telecom subscribers seen in 2022 aligns with the GSMA’s growth forecast for the industry.

According to the global industry association, Nigeria has a sizable population under the age of 18, implying that subscriber growth will be strong for the foreseeable future as more young consumers reach adulthood and subscribe to mobile services.

According to the GSMA, mobile connectivity will play a critical role in defining the nation’s new normal.

“By 2021, mobile technologies and services will have generated around 8 percent of GDP across Sub-Saharan Africa, amounting to nearly $140 billion in economic value added,” it said

“The mobile ecosystem also supported more than 3.2 million jobs (directly and indirectly) and made a substantial contribution to the funding of the public sector, with $16 billion raised through taxes on the sector.

“By 2025, mobile’s contribution will grow by $65 billion (to almost $155 billion), as the countries in the region increasingly benefit from the improvements in productivity and efficiency brought about by the increased take-up of mobile services.”

Despite this growth, about 31.6 million Nigerians live in areas without telecom coverage, according to the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy. The ministry stated that the absence of such coverage had enabled criminal activities and insecurity in these unserved areas.

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