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MTN, Airtel push Nigeria’s active mobile subscriptions to 204.2 million in May 2022

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Active mobile subscriptions across the four GSM networks of MTN, Globacom, Airtel, and 9mobile rose to 204.2 million in May 2022. The increase recorded in the month was driven largely by two of the network operators, MTN and Airtel.

According to the latest industry statistics released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the operators added a total of 2.9 million subscriptions in May, which pushed up the country’s mobile subscription database from 201.3 million recorded in April this year.

This came as the highest monthly gain for the telecom operators since the lifting of the ban on new SIM registration by the government in April 2021.

With the growth recorded by the operators, the country’s teledensity, which measures the number of active telephone connections per 100 inhabitants living within an area, also jumped from 105.65% in April to 107.17% in May. According to NCC, the teledensity is calculated based on a population estimate of 190 million.

What the operators gained

  • The NCC’s statistics for May show that MTN, which is the largest operator by subscriber number, gained 1.5 million new subscriptions in the month. This brought its total active customer database to 77.7 million from 76.2 million it recorded in the previous month.
  • Airtel added 1.3 million new subscriptions in May to retain its position as the second-largest operator. The telco’s active customer database rose to 57.6 million at the end of the month from 56.2 million in April.
  • Globacom also gained new customers in the month under review as its subscription database grew by 86,145. This brought its total subscriptions to 56.2 million from 56.1 million in April.
  • However, 9mobile recorded a loss of subscriptions in the month. The company’s database plunged by 79,845 to 12.6 million.

With a steady increase in mobile subscriptions across the networks since the beginning of this year, the operators are steadily regaining their lost customers after the government’s policy on SIM registration caused them to lose over 20 million subscriptions between December 2020 and April 2021.

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