2015 recorded 12 million new GSM subscribers in Nigeria

Telecoms

The number of subscribers on GSM networks rose by 12 million to 148.68 million in 2015, a report on the sector released by the National Bureau of Statistics has revealed.

The bureau stated in the report made available to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday that the total number of subscribers had increased rapidly over the previous decade.

The report stated that total number of GSM subscribers rose from 1.48 million at the end of the third quarter of 2015 to an industry high of 149.7 million in November, but dipped to 148.6 million in December.

The drop in total subscribers between November and December, according to the NBS, was due to the decline in the figures of MTN (from 62.4 million to 61.2 million) and Etisalat (from 23.4 million to 22.1 million), while Glo and Airtel witnessed increase in the number of their subscribers.

The report stated, “As of December 2015, the total number of GSM subscribers was 148,681,362, an increase of 12,004,756 or 8.78 per cent relative to December 2014. However, this number is a decline relative to the number in October and November, when there were 149,683,259 and 149,787,120 subscribers, respectively.

“Taking 2015 as a whole, July marked a clear turning point. Prior to July, each company saw increase in the number of subscribers every month. However, after this date, only Airtel experienced a consistent increase in the number of subscribers, and MTN and Etisalat ended the year with less subscribers than in April.”

It added that 2015 was a more active year for porting activities than 2014, noting that the total incoming activity increased by 42.88 per cent from 148,652 to 212,401 incoming porters.

The NBS said the porting activity was driven to a large extent by Etisalat, which gained 137,466 incoming porters compared to 69,364 in 2014.

The sector, it added, also recorded an increase in outgoing activity from 145,998 to 219,559 in the 12-month period.
This increase, it noted, was driven mainly by MTN, which lost 125,515 subscribers to other networks in 2015 compared to 67,039 in 2014.

Airtel also lost substantially more subscribers in 2015 compared to the previous year as the company lost 41,527 compared to 25,883 in 2014.
Source: Mobile World Mag 28 April 2016