Telcos lose 6m voice subscribers in seven months


Nigerian voice subscribers’ data shows a 2.4 percent dip in seven months.

Uba Group

By the end of July, service providers had already lost about 6 million voice subscribers, a new report shows.

According to the National Communication Commission, telephone subscriptions dropped from 226.2 million in January to 220 million in July, a slash of 6 million or 2.4 percent users which reflected the national economic hardship in the seven months of the year.

A breakdown of the report shows that the sector had ended 2022 with 222.5 million subscribers. By January 2023, subscribers increased by 3.6 million new users to 226.2 million. In February, it leapt slightly to 227.1 million.

It, however, fell to 226.2 million in March, where about 1.5 million Subscriber Identification Module cards became inactive.

The downward trend went further in April, with the plunge hitting 223.7 million, 221 million in May and 220 million in June.

The drop also negatively impacted the country’s teledensity, which fell from 118.5 percent in January to 115.7 percent in July. Teledensity is the number of telephone connections per 100 people in a specified geographic area.

It is often used to compare the level of access to voice and data communications services between metropolitan and rural areas, or between one country and another.

Further breakdown of the data shows that MTN Nigeria experienced a 6 million loss in its voice subscribers within the period under review, amounting to the biggest loss in active voice subscribers among the telecommunication operators.

Airtel’s voice subscribers also fell from 60.5 million to 60 million, representing 500,000 active subscribers lost from January to July.

However, among the gainers’ table are Globacom, and 9mobile which saw telephony service of Nigeria’s telecoms growth within the period.

As a result of Globacom’s recharge bonus and incentives, its voice subscribers grew by 1 million users while 9mobile grew by 700,000 users in the seven-month period.

In the Nigerian telecommunication subscription statistics (July edition) penetration in the broadband segment went down from 48.21 percent in January to 47.01 percent.

Some 2.2 million customers in that sub-sector didn’t utilise the service in the period under review. Specifically, the number went from 92 million users in January to 89.7 million by July ending.

However, Internet users on the narrow band (GSM) platform increased by 3 million, where operators moved from 155 million in January to 158 million by July.