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Internet subscriber growth fail to lift 9Mobile

While MTN, Globacom, and Airtel saw a significant increase in the number of internet subscribers added in Q1 2022, 9Mobile continues to lose internet subscribers despite the increase recorded in internet subscription rate from 143.2 million in January to 145.2 million in March 2022, data from the Nigerian Communications Commission shows.

In the period under review, 9Mobile lost about 100,000 internet subscribers month-on-month. The teleco started the year with 5.7 million subscribers and is presently at 5.5 million.

MTN, the largest operator in Nigeria led the most increase with the total number of internet subscribers on the network at 60.7 million from 59.5 million in January. It added about 400,000 and 785,000 subscribers respectively in the comparable periods.

For Airtel, 453,000 and 611,000 internet subscribers were added to make up the telco’s total number at 39.3 million from 38.3 million in January. Globacom lost about 201,000 subscribers in February after it started the year with 39.5 million subscribers but rebounded in March at the same rate recorded in January.

Despite the challenges of verifying and linking Subscriber Identity Module (SIM), to the National Identity Number (NIN), Nigeria added over four million voice subscribers in the first quarter of 2022.

In terms of the numbers added in voice subscribers by each of the mobile network operators (MNOs), Glo added the highest number in the period under review at 940,531 followed by Airtel at 735,120. MTN recorded an additional 448,825 voice subscribers while 9mobile failed to add to its numbers. The telecom operator lost 73, 893 voice subscribers.

With a market share of 37.89 percent by MTN, Airtel– 27.81 percent, Glo and 9Mobile- 27.80 and 6.49 percent respectively, this brings the total number of voice subscribers in Q1 2022 to 199.2 million subscribers, a 2.1 percent increase from 195.1 million in December.

According to the MNOs, they have remained committed to expanding their businesses while attempting to recover from the losses incurred as a result of the Federal Government’s regulatory ban on sim cards and activation in 2021.

The NCC report also analyzed the MNOs porting data from the first quarter of 2022. According to the data, Airtel, 9mobile, Globacom, and MTN each lost 8,208, 2,150, 363 and 374 subscribers respectively due to porting by subscribers.

According to the data, MTN, Airtel, Globacom, and 9mobile each added 3,934, 845, 345, and 229 subscribers due to incoming porting.

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