By Emma Okonji
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said the telecoms industry recorded steady growth in subscriber number and teledensity in 2018.
NCC, in its November monthly report posted on its website, noted that there was a steady growth in subscriber number, which reached its peak of 169.1 million at the end of 2018, up from 165.2 million as at October same year.
According to NCC’s statistics, the steady growth in subscriber base from January 2018 to November 2018, also reflected on the growth of subscribers’ teledensity, which also reached a peak of 120.79 per cent in November 2018, up from 118.03 per cent in October same year.
While teledensity is the number of active telephone connections per one hundred inhabitants living within an area and is expressed as a percentage figure, subscriber number is the number of active subscribers for telephony services on each of the licensed service providers utilising different technologies including GSM, CDMA, Fixed Wireless and Fixed Wired like Landline service.
A breakdown of the statistics showed that in January 2018, subscriber number was 147.3 million with a teledensity of 105.21 per cent. It, however, grew to 148.4 million subscribers and a teledensity of 106 per cent in February same year.
In March 2018, there was another rise in subscriber number to reach 149.3 million with a teledensity of 106.64 per cent, while subscriber number also rose to 160.5 million in April 2018 with a teledensity of 114.60 per cent of the same year.
In the months of May and June 2018, the subscriber base also increased to 161.5 million and 162.8 million respectively, with a growth in teledensity of 116.09 per cent and 116.26 per cent respectively.
However, in July and August 2018, Nigeria witnessed a slight drop in both subscriber number and teledensity. While subscriber number slightly dropped from 162.8 million in June to 161.8 million in July, and 160.9 million in August, teledensity also dropped slightly from 116.26 per cent in June to 115.57 per cent in July and 114.92 per cent in August of same year.
Nonetheless, in September 2018, subscriber number recorded another growth to reach 162.1 million and 165.2 million in October, with a teledensity growth of 115.76 per cent in September 2018 and 118.03 per cent October same year. In November, 2018, subscriber number also recorded another steady growth to reach its highest peak of 169.1 million, with a teledensity of 120.79 per cent in the same November 2018.
According to the NCC, MTN maintained the highest market share with 66.9 million subscribers, which was about 40 per cent of the market share. This was closely followed by Globacom, with subscriber number of 43.3 million, which is about 26 per cent market share.
Airtel was next to Globacom with subscriber number of 43.1 million, which is about 25 per cent market share. The least among them was 9mobile with subscriber number of 15.4 million, which was about seven per cent market share.
No statistics was recorded for ntel, the telecoms operator that bought over NITEL and MTel through unbundled liquidation exercise since 2015, with focus on data subscription.