Telecom Subscriptions Up Slightly in One Year to Reach 198.1M with 103.79% Teledensity in February

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The latest statistics released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has revealed a minimal growth in telecom subscriptions in the country in one year.

According to the NCC data, the subscriptions figures across networks increased slightly from 192.4 million in March 2021, with a teledensity of 100.80 per cent, to 198.1 million in February 2022, with a teledensity of 103.79 per cent.

Teledensity is described as the number of active telephone connections per one hundred inhabitants living within an area and is expressed as a percentage figure, and it is calculated on monthly and annual basis.

The above figures was sighted on NCC’s website, showed that in March 2021, the number of telecom subscriptions across networks was 192.4 million, with a teledensity of 100.80 per cent, but the figure dropped to 188.7 million with a drop in teledensity to 98.86 per cent in April 2021. In May 2021, telecom subscriptions number further dropped to 187 million with a further drop in teledensity to 97.98 per cent, but in June 2021, telecom subscriptions number increased slightly to 187.6 million with an increase in teledensity to 98.28 per cent. The increase in the number of telecom subscriptions, though slightly, but it continued in the ascending order from June 2021 to February 2022, which is the latest statistics on telecom subscriber number from the NCC.

From July to September 2021, the number of telecom subscriptions grew to 187.8 million, 189.3 million and 190.9 million respectively, with a corresponding increase in teledensity to 98.39 per cent in July, 99.18 per cent in August and 99.98 per cent in September 2021.

From October to December 2021, the number of telecom subscriptions also increased slightly to 191.95 million, 193.2 million and 195.5 million respectively, with a corresponding increase in teledensity to 100.56 per cent, 101.20 per cent and 102.40 per cent in December 2021.

In January 2022, the number of telecom subscriptions also increased to 197.5 million with a teledensity of 103.46 per cent and in February 2022, it also increased slightly to 198.1 million with a teledensity of 103.79 per cent.

A breakdown of the figure obtained from the website of NCC, showed that out of the 198.1 million subscribers across networks as at February 2022, MTN maintained market lead with 74.93 million subscribers and a market share of 37.89 per cent, followed by Airtel with 55 million subscribers and a market share of 27.81 per cent. Globacom is third on the list with 54.99 million subscribers and a market share of 27.80 per cent, while 9mobile came fourth with 12.84 million subscribers and a market share of 6.49 per cent.

Giving reasons for the slight increase in subscribers’ number in one year, as against the rapid increase in the previous years, the Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo, blamed the development on the effect of the ban on SIM card registration and activation by the federal government in December 2020.

Following the rise in insecurity across the country, coupled with fact that there were several unregistered SIM cards that were not linked to the National Identification Number (NIN) of telecoms subscribers, the federal federal government, on December 9, 2020, directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the telecoms industry regulator, to suspend the sale and activation of new SIMs, and on December 15, 2020, it directed all operators to update SIM registration records with valid NINs with an initial deadline of December 30, 2020.

“Within that period, there were no registration and activation of new SIM cards, which affected the growth in the number of telecoms subscriptions across all networks,” Adebayo said.


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