Broadband Network Operators in Nigeria See Highest Growth in Q1 2022

Active mobile subscriptions across the four GSM networks of MTN, Globacom, Airtel, and 9mobile rose to 199.5 million in March 2022. This is the highest number of subscriptions recorded by the operators since January 2021.

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The number of broadband network subscribers in Nigeria grew from 79.4 million people in January 2022 to 81.7 million in April 2022, according to first quarter telephone data released by Nigeria Communication Commissions (NCC).

At the same time broadband internet penetration rose to 42.79% from 41.61%.

During the same period, the country acquired a total of 4,094,642 new mobile phone subscribers, with market leader MTN facing stiff competition from Airtel and Globocom.

Further checks showed that in Q1 2022:

  • MTN Nigeria’s internet subscribers increased by 1.1 million
  • Airtel increased by 918, 191
  • Globacom increased by 331, 360
  • 9mobile, on the other hand, dropped over 108,000 internet subscribers for the period under review — its lowest of all time.

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Here is the latest April Subscriber Account, together with market share:

OperatorApril Subscriber CountMarket Share
MTN76,196,03437.85%
Airtel56,238,39727.94%
Globacom 56,140,33427.89%
9mobile12,737,2706.33%

Active mobile subscriptions across the four GSM networks of MTN, Globacom, Airtel, and 9mobile rose to 199.5 million in March 2022. This is the highest number of subscriptions recorded by the operators since January 2021.

In that same month alone:

  • MTN gained 243, 879 new subscriptions in the month
  • Globacom added 894, 565 new subscriptions
  • Airtel also gained new customers in the month under review as its subscription database grew by 366, 422
  • However, 9mobile recorded a loss of subscriptions in the month. The company’s database plunged by 71, 992 to 12.7 million

The growth in subscriber count shows growth from a decline in growth occasioned by government policy and comes despite the challenges of verifying and linking SIM (Subscriber Identity Module)to the (NIN) National Identity Number.

In December 2020, the federal government directed telecommunications companies to suspend the sales and reactivation of new SIM cards which reportedly caused them to loose over 20 million subscriptions between December 2020 and April 2021.

The government, however, lifted the ban in April 2022 but mandated the use of national identification numbers (NINs) for the issuance of new SIM cards.

In April 2022, the federal government directed telecommunication companies to bar outgoing calls on all subscriber identity module (SIM) cards not yet linked with the NIN.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) also found that the country’s internet subscribers rose to 148.10 million in April 2022.

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