Active Voice Subscribers Declined by 8.73% in Q3 2017 – NBS

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Sector Summary:

  • Total Active Voice Subscriptions and Total Active Internet Subscriptions in 2017 Q3 were recorded 139,907,213 and 93,263,436 respectively.
  • Total Active Voice Subscriptions fell by 8.73% from 2016 Q3 and by 2.21% from 2017 Q2.
  • Total Active Internet Subscriptions increased by 1.22 from 2016 Q3 and declined by 0.55% from 2017 Q2
  • Both voice and internet communication subscriptions in 2017 Q3 were dominated by GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications).
  • By the end of 2017 Q3, Southwestern and North Central states recorded higher than an average number of voice and internet subscriptions than other states in Nigeria in general. 

Active Voice Subscription

Overview

Total Active Voice Subscriptions in the third quarter of 2017 decreased by 8.73% compared with the same quarter in last year, from to 153,295,152 in 2016 Q3 to 139,907,213 total active subscriptions in the reviewing quarter. The total figure recorded in the 2017 Q3 also indicates a 2.21% decline from the second quarter of 2017.

Subscription by Technology (GSM, CDMA, Fixed Wires/Wireless, and VoIP)

GSM

GSM subscription remained the largest component of Total Active Mobile Subscription over the past year. Until the end of the third quarter of 2017, Nigeria recorded 139,486,833 GMS based active voice subscriptions nationwide. However, both the subscription number and the percentage of GSM decreased in the past three quarters, although GSM still constitutes 99.70% of the total Active Voice Subscription. Total GSM in Q3 recorded a 9.50% decline year on year and a 2.22% decline quarter to quarter.

Other technology

Other technology of voice telecommunication includes CDMA, Fixed Wires/Wireless, and VoIP, which constitute around 0.30% of the total Active Voice Subscription in 2017 Q3. CDMA as an alternative mobile technology contributes to 0.16% of the total active subscriptions while fixed/ fixed wireless and VoIP only accounted for 0.10% and 0.04% of the total figures respectively.

Please notice that the percentage figures presented in this and the next sessions are estimated according to latest NCC data and are subject to revision by NBS.

Subscription by Provider

In the third quarter, the four largest voice communication providers are Airtel Nigeria, 9mobile, Globacom Limited and MTN Nigeria Communications, which contributed to 24.75%, 12.30%, 27.70% and 35.96% of the total telecom communication subscriptions respectively. Among the top four, Airtel Nigeria, 9mobile and MTN Nigeria Communications only specialize in GSM, while Globacom Limited also holds 0.01% of the total active voice subscriptions in the form of Fixed/Fixed Wireless Telecommunication.

Subscription by State

Southern and Southwestern states recorded the highest active voice subscriptions in general. Lagos, Ogun and Oyo, the top three states recorded together 26.10% of the total voice subscription of the country. Lagos led in telecommunication usage with 20,393,052 active voice subscriptions and 20,126,338 GSM users by the end of the third quarter, equal to 14.58% of the total nationwide subscriptions. Following the three southern states, FCT, Kano and Kaduna established another cluster of heavy voice subscription, each of which reported over 6 million active voice subscriptions in the reviewing quarter.

Most states in Nigeria recorded negative growths in active voice subscriptions in the third quarter of 2017 on both year to year and quarter to quarter basis. FTC, Edo, Adamawa, Ondo, Lagos, and Oyo are the only states which recorded positive year on year growths in active voice subscriptions in 2017 Q3, by 5.48%, 3.10%, 2.42%, 1.63% and 0.98% respectively.

Data/Internet Subscriptions

Overview

Data subscriptions in Q3 2017, as in previous quarters, is dominated by mobile (GSM) internet subscriptions, accounting for 99.7% of all active data/internet subscriptions.  In the quarter under review, Q3 2017, total active internet subscriptions stood at 93,263,436, a 1.22% growth over the previous quarter’s 92,136,023 active subscriptions, and a decline of 0.55% from the same period last year, Q3 2016 at 93,776,771 active subscriptions.

The recent growth in active internet subscriptions is driven primarily by the quarter-on-quarter growth in absolute numbers of subscriptions to the internet via GSM (mobile) and the increase in VoIP (voice-over-internet) usage.

Mobile (GSM) Internet Subscriptions

GSM remains the most dominant means of accessing the internet for subscribers. In Q3 2017, active GSM internet subscriptions stood at 92,975,682, representing a 1.5% growth from the previous quarter’s 91,598,755 active subscribers, and a 0.22% decline from the same period last year. While GSM internet subscriptions were on a declining trend over year to date 2016, subscriptions have picked up in 2017, showing a 3.3% growth from Q1 2017 to Q3 2017.

In the quarter under review (Q3 2017) MTN gained the highest share of all GSM active internet subscribers, capturing 35% of subscriptions (32,556,629), closely followed by Glo at 29% of subscription (26,942,871), Airtel at 23.4% of subscriptions (21,765,524), and EMTS at 12.6% of subscriptions (11,710,259). This represented a 2.7%, and a 7.9% growth over the previous quarter (Q2 2017) for MTN and Airtel respectively, and a 0.9% and 6.7% decline over the previous quarter for Glo and EMTS respectively.

Similarly, when compared with the same period last year Q3 2016, Glo and Airtel grew by 0.2% and 15.6% respectively, while MTN and EMTS declined by 0.7% and 22.3% respectively. The operational challenges experienced by EMTS (9mobile) contributed significantly to the recorded decline of total active GSM internet subscriptions in the period under review (6.7% percent compared to the previous quarter), while Airtel robustly gained subscribers both quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year.

VoIP Subscriptions

The second most dominant form for accessing the internet is over VoIP. In the period under review, active VoIP internet subscription grew 6.3% quarter-on-quarter from 231,116 active subscribers in Q2 2017 to 245,696 in Q3 2017.

This growth was fueled by the increase in Ntel VoIP subscriptions which grew 74.6% from the previous quarter to stand at 36,601 in Q3 2017 from 20,963 in Q2 2017.  Nevertheless, the majority of VoIP internet subscriptions are through Smile Networks which controls 85.1% of this segment with 209,095 active VoIP subscriptions in Q3 2017.  Smile declined slightly by 0.5% in the quarter under review and lost 5.8 percentage points to Ntel.

CDMA and Fixed Wireless Internet Subscriptions
The NCC records no changes in active CDMA internet subscription in the period under review, a trend that has persisted since the 3rd quarter of 2016.  Visafone dominates this segment with 30,309 subscriptions (99.9% of all active CDMA internet subscriptions.

In the quarter under review, Lagos state recorded the highest active GSM internet subscriptions within the country, which stood at 14,192,283 (15.2% of all active internet subscriptions), followed by Ogun State at 5,893,286 (6.3%), Oyo State at 5,177,046 (5.6%), FCT at 4,913,800 (5.3%), and Kano at 4,035,407 (4.3%). Together the top ten states for active internet subscriptions (Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, FCT, Kano, Kaduna, Rivers, Edo, Delta, and Niger states) account for 54.9% of all internet subscriptions in Q3 2017.

Amongst this group, the FCT, Edo, and Lagos States contributed the highest growth in internet subscriptions at 16.4%, 7.7%, and 10.4% percent growth respectively over the previous quarter (Q2 2017); and 12.7%, 13.0%, and 9.5% growth respectively over the same period last year (Q3 2016).

Niger state recorded the highest loss in active internet subscriptions, declining 22.4% when compared with the previous quarter, and declining 18.7% when compared to the same period last year.

The South West region has the highest percentage of active mobile internet subscriptions at 33.3% with 31,013,481 subscriptions, this is followed by North Central at 19.2% with 17,891,050 subscriptions, and South-South at 15.1% with 14,046,821 subscriptions.  South West and South South region recorded some growth when compared with the previous quarter, 7.8% and 5.1% growth, although active internet subscription in South-South declined marginally by 0.1% when compared with the same period last year.  Subscriptions in the South West also grew by 7.6% when compared with the same period last year (Q3 2016), and along with the North East region, were the only two regions who recorded a growth in subscription when compared to the same period last year.

The South West region has the highest percentage of active mobile internet subscriptions at 33.3% with 31,013,481 subscriptions, this is followed by North Central at 19.2% with 17,891,050 subscriptions, and South-South at 15.1% with 14,046,821 subscriptions.  South West and South South region recorded some growth when compared with the previous quarter, 7.8% and 5.1% growth, although active internet subscription in South-South declined marginally by 0.1% when compared with the same period last year.  Subscriptions in the South West also grew by 7.6% when compared with the same period last year (Q3 2016), and along with the North East region, were the only two regions who recorded a growth in subscription when compared to the same period last year.

In the South West region, Glo represents 34% of all active GSM internet subscriptions, while MTN represents 32%, Airtel 21%, and EMTS (9Mobile) represents 13% respectively.  Similarly, in the North Central region, Glo represents 38% of all active GSM internet subscriptions, MTN 30%, Airtel 17%, and EMTS (9Mobile) represents 15% respectively.  Together, these two regions, South West and North Central, account for 52.4% of all active GSM internet subscriptions.

The distribution of licensed providers also varies across regions.  For the top two licensed GSM internet providers MTN and Glo, the South West region contributes 31% and 39% of their active GSM internet subscriptions, while the North West region is the second largest market for MTN at 18% of all active GSM internet subscriptions and the North Central region is the second largest market for Glo, contributing 26% of all its active GSM internet subscriptions.

Porting Activities

In the third quarter of 2017, a total number of incoming and outgoing porting activities stood at 16,809 and 16,705, representing an increase of 0.57% and 3.38% respectively over the previous quarter.  EMTS is the largest beneficiary for incoming porting activities, accounting for 11,517 or 69% of the total incoming porting. Outgoing porting activities are more equally divided among three major service providers, MTN, GLO, and AIRTEL, each of which reported over 40 00 outgoing porting activities in 2017 Q3.  Net porting activity for this quarter is low at 405.   

Download Q3 2017 Telecoms Data (PDF) Report Here

 

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