The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has announced a growth in the number of mobile subscriptions in Nigeria by 23.48 million from January to November 2022.
According to the industry’s latest statistics, this pushes the total number of mobile subscriptions in the country to 218.61 million, a new record high.
Investors King reports that MTN stays top of the list of mobile subscribers with 86.44 million subscriptions, followed by Globacom with 59.95 million subscriptions while Airtel has 59.38 million mobile subscriptions and 9mobile has 12.84 million.
According to telecommunication companies, the reason for sustained growth in mobile subscriptions can be linked to a restriction on outgoing calls on SIMs that have not been linked with their National Identification Number
In April 2022, the Federal Government had directed telecos through a joint statement signed by the Director of Public Affairs of the NCC, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, and the Head, Corporate Communications at the Nigeria Identity Management Commission, Mr Kayode Adegoke, to enforce compliance with its National Identification Number-Subscriber Identity Module policy and restrict outgoing calls on all unlinked SIMs.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the implementation of the policy with effect from April 4, 2022. Consequently, the Federal Government has directed all telcos to strictly enforce the policy on all SIMs issued (existing and new) in Nigeria.”
GSMA, the global body for telecos had confirmed that Nigeria has the largest mobile population in Africa and is expected to continue to grow while attributing mobile subscription growth to the country’s young population.
It explained that many individuals in the country are under 18 and are crossing into adulthood and subscribing to mobile services noting that 18 million new Nigerians will become unique telecom subscribers by 2025.
“By 2025, mobile’s contribution will grow by $65bn (to almost $155bn), as the countries in the region increasingly benefit from the improvements in productivity and efficiency brought about by the increased take-up of mobile services.”
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MTN Evaluates Exit from Three African Markets Amid Regional Challenges
African telecommunications giant MTN is reportedly contemplating an “orderly exit” from its operations in Guinea-Bissau, Guinea-Conakry, and Liberia, according to a report by Business Insider Africa.
The company, which currently operates in 19 countries across Africa and the Middle East, aims to streamline its portfolio and address challenges in the West and Central Africa (Weca) region.
While the exact reasons for the potential exit remain undisclosed, MTN’s financial reports indicate broader challenges in the Weca segment.
CEO Ralph Mupita highlighted concerns over inflation and currency devaluation in multiple markets.
The company’s 2022 financials revealed a 1.7% decline in EBITDA margin due to pricing pressures, fintech channel subsidies, and macroeconomic hurdles.
Although Guinea-Bissau, Guinea-Conakry, and Liberia contribute only 1.6% to MTN’s total revenue, the move aligns with the company’s strategic focus on optimizing its market presence.
MTN holds a significant market share, approximately 30%, in Guinea-Bissau and Guinea-Conakry, while Lonestar MTN is the second-largest telecom operator in Liberia.
The potential exit reflects MTN’s commitment to adapting its business strategy to navigate the evolving economic landscape and optimize its portfolio for sustained growth.
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