Nigeria’s active mobile subscriptions bounce back

.internet users decline

Recovering from six months of consistent loss, telecommunications operators in the Nigeria activated 580,082 new lines in June. This brought the country’s active mobile subscriptions to 187.2 million from 186.6 million recorded in May.

According to the latest industry statistics released by the Nigerian Communications Commission, three out of the four GSM operators recorded increase in their subscriptions in the month.

Impacted by the government’s suspension of new SIM activation for over four months, December 9, 2020 to April 19, 2021, the telecom operators had lost over 20 million subscriptions. Active mobile subscriptions across the four networks, which stood at 207.5 million as of November 2020, had plunged to 186.6 million by May this year.

However, the NCC’s data revealed that the trio of Airtel, Globacom, and 9mobile gained new subscriptions in June, while MTN, which is the largest operator by subscriber number recorded a loss in the month.  Airtel added 638,935 new subscriptions which brought its database to 50.6 million from 50 million recorded in May. Globacom also activated 349,325 new lines in the month to record a total of 50.1 million subscriptions, while 9mobile added 65,317 to record 12.9 million total subscriptions.

However, MTN’s 473,495 subscriptions loss reduced the impact of the gains recorded by other operators on the total active mobile subscriptions in the county. The telco’s database plunged from 74 million in May to 73.5 million in June.

Meanwhile the NCC’s data revealed a decline in the total internet subscriptions across the mobile networks. This was in spite of the marginal gains recorded by two out of the four mobile operators.

According to the report, mobile internet subscriptions in the country declined to 138.9 million in June from 140.1 million recorded in May. While Globacom added 283,766 new subscriptions in the month to record 37.8 million internet users, Airtel gained 115,462 new internet customers, which brought its subscriptions database to 36.2 million.

However, MTN’s internet subscriptions declined by 607,511 in the month, thus bringing down its customer database to 59.5 million from 60.2 million recorded in the previous month. 9mobile also shed internet subscriptions in the month under review. The telco lost 108,932 subscriptions which reduced its database tp 6.1 million.

Due to the SIM activation suspension, the telecommunications operators in the country had lost a total of 13.8 million internet subscriptions between January and May this year. The number of internet subscriptions across the mobile networks, fixed wired and VoIP had declined to 140.5 million in May after five months of consistent decline.

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