Nigerian telcos record success in subscribers’ base

Consistent with Section 89 Subsection 3(d) of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 (NCA 2003), the Commission by mandate consistently reports on the state of the Nigerian Communications Industry. Recent reports from the Commission on subscriptions and teledensity is calculated based on a population estimate of 190 million. Though the Year 2020 had both its positive and negative effects, the sector still posted a huge increase in returns. The NCC data reports that in Q2 2020, the industry posted N2.8 trillion representing 11.20% of the GDP, compared to 10.88% in Q1, the same year, despite the pandemic.

According to the   statistics released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on telecoms, an executive summary of data was gathered from the various parts of the country, with analysis of subscription by networks, on Active Voice, Tariff Information, and porting activities carried out by subscribers within the third quarter of 2020.

The result gathered shows that the third quarter of  last year recorded a huge success  for Telcos in Nigeria, as there was an upward movement in their internet subscriber base by 7.88 million new users, which is about (5.48%), compared to 2.46 million recorded in the previous quarter to 151.5 million subscribers.

The data also reveals that there was a big difference between last year and year 2019, as  it increased by 28.3 million (23%) as against 123 million recorded in the corresponding period of 2019 (Q3 2019).

The highlight shows that as at Q3 2020, MTN held the highest internet market share with 44%. The total number of active internet subscribers for MTN was 64.35 million.

Followed by Airtel with a market share of 27% (40.31 million), Globacom followed closely with a market share of 26% (39.13 million), while 9mobile recorded a market share of 5% (7.3 million).

With these, it becomes obvious that these four major networks are leading positively, in the number of active internet subscribers when compared to Q2 2020. Although 9mobile was not that lucky as it lost 1.19 million internet subscribers between Q3 2019 and Q3 2020. They also gained in their customer base with over 9 million in terms of voice subscriptions in the third quarter, compared to the previous quarter, as there were 26.1 million additional subscribers who join.

“MTN Nigeria controls and leads with  a market share of 44% as at Q3 2020, followed by Airtel with 28.9%, Glo (26.4%), 9mobile (6.2%), and others with a market share of 0.2%.

“Airtel grew its customer base by 5.3% (Q3 2020), followed by 9mobile, which increased by 5.1% in the same period. MTN increased its customer base by 4.9%, while Glo increased its customers by 3.2%,” the report said.

Marketing analysts, who looked at the high positive growth figures of the industry, declared that the change in business strategy from B2C (Business to Customers), to D2C (Direct to Customers), has necessitated this growth despite the impacts of the pandemic. The D2C approach encourages a system where the services are encoded and mashed into APPs through super automation to create a consumer self-discovery. A do-it-yourself service, where the consumer begins the journey from code to code, makes payment through receiver banks, and enjoys the services without aid or support. This creates a more satisfying trip into technology. The consumer feels like a tech geek. So, no matter the physical inconvenience of the pandemic, the consumer is satisfied and the telcos smile to the bank.


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