In March 2017, the total number of GSM subscribers was 151,999,197, which was 2,125,405 less than in December 2016, equivalent to a decrease of 1.38%. This was the first quarterly decline since the previous March.
According to the Nigerian Telecommunication Sector Report (Q1 2017), released by the National Bureau of Statistics yesterday, Airtel was the only GSM provider to record an increase in the number of subscribers relative to the previous quarter, of 1.58%, which means this provider recorded the highest growth rate for the second consecutive quarter. Their number increased by 540,196 to reach 34,656,605 between December 2016 and March 2017. This was nevertheless lower than the quarterly growth rate of 4.09% recorded in December 2016. Although the other three providers recorded decreases in their numbers over this period, the decrease recorded by Globacom was slight.
|No. of Subscribers||34,656,605||19,621,806||37,328,827||60,391,959|
With 37,328,827 subscribers, Globacom had 29,016 fewer subscribers in March 2017 than in December 2016, a decrease of only 0.08%. In percentage terms, Etisalat recorded the largest decline, for the third consecutive month, of 5.71% compared to 2.34% for MTN. However, given that MTN has significantly more subscribers, with 60,391,959 in March 2017 compared to 19,621,806 for Etisalat, their monthly decrease was larger in absolute terms. MTN lost 1,448,502 subscribers relative to December 2016, compared to a loss of 1,188,083 for Etisalat.
These trends did not change the overall ranking of GSM providers in terms of numbers of subscribers. MTN remained the largest provider, and accounted for 39.73% in March 2017, a slightly lower share than the share of 40.12% at the end of the previous quarter. Airtel and Globacom each increased their share slightly over the same period, from 22.14% to 22.8%, and from 24.24% to 24.56% respectively.
Data Credits: NBS & NCC