ETISALAT Tops Gainers in Sim Portability
By Deji Adekunle
An overview of the telecoms sector according to the NBS’s Nigerian Telecommunications (Services) Sector Report Quarter 1 2016 has shown some recent trends.
Due to market saturation, room for large expansion has reduced. Therefore overall subscriber numbers seem to have plateaued. Over 10 years, subscription rose from 19,519,154 in 2005 to 151,017,244 in 2010 showing an average increase of 13,149,809 subscribers yearly. But observing the subscription numbers of March 2015 compared to March 2016 one can see just an increase of 4,811,256 subscribers. It is also notable to observe that between December 2015 and March 2016 the sector has experienced its first ever quarterly drop in numbers from 151,017,244 to 148,745,464. Emerging trends are now seen in individual subscriber growth.
Emerging Trends in Mobile GSM Subscription
With the market about to reach a point of saturation prompting an increase in competition, subscriber market-share distribution seems to be reshuffling. Various factors have also affected this trend, such as the $5.2 Billion fine placed on MTN by the Nigerian government due to their refusal to disconnect unregistered lines from their network. The disconnection of such lines have seriously affected subscriber numbers. As a consequence, Globacom and Airtel have been on the ascendency over the past one year, while MTN and Etisalat seem to be struggling to keep their numbers positive.
Emerging Trends in Internet Subscription
On the other hand, GSM Internet subscriptions are on the rise as a whole with curious trends emerging across the different networks. Globacom appears to be capturing the market due to the subscription rise shown, while Etisalat has also shown some growth over the past one year. MTN subscription on the other hand appears to be on a major decline. Airtel has shown little or no improvement.
Ever since the emergence of porting (ability to switch subscriber without a change of phone number), a new trend has emerged. Over the past year, MTN has lost 133,404 subscribers, Globacom also lost 14,354 subscribers; while Airtel gained 17,315 subscribers, with Etisalat being the biggest winner with an additional 123,253 subscribers added to their network.
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