Nigeria's Mobile Subscriptions Dip Slightly in August 2023, MTN Sees Largest Drop

In August 2023, Nigeria's mobile subscription numbers experienced a slight decline, with the largest operator, MTN, leading the decrease. The drop in MTN subscribers brought the overall figures down. Despite this dip, other major telecom operators, such as Globacom, Airtel, and 9mobile, managed to make modest gains in their subscriber counts. This trend resulted in a marginal decrease in the country's teledensity and broadband penetration. Nevertheless, the telecom sector in Nigeria remains promising, with untapped potential driven by advanced technologies, an emerging internet market, and favorable demographics.

Nigeria's Mobile Subscriptions Dip Slightly in August 2023, MTN Sees Largest Drop

Based on the latest industry data provided by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria experienced a slight decrease of 0.07% in active mobile subscriptions in August 2023, bringing the total to 220.71 million, as compared to 220.86 million in July of the same year.

This decline signifies a reduction of 145,026 mobile subscriptions in August, following a modest increase in July. Prior to this, there had been four consecutive declines in mobile subscriptions: 0.5% in June, 1% in both May and April, and 0.4% in March.

The most substantial drop in numbers was observed among MTN subscribers, the largest operator in terms of subscriber count. MTN's total active subscriptions decreased from 85.3 million in July 2023 to 85 million.

Globacom, the second-largest operator by subscriber numbers, managed to add 38,015 new subscribers in August, reaching a total of 61.39 million overall subscriptions, up from 61.35 million in July.

Airtel, the third-largest operator in terms of subscriber base, saw an increase of 85,139 new subscribers during the same month, bringing its total to 60.1 million, up from 60 million in July. Meanwhile, 9mobile added 36,543 new subscribers, raising its total active linked lines to 13.79 million, up from 13.75 million in July.

Due to the overall decline in active mobile subscriptions reported by telecom operators, the country's teledensity, which measures the number of active telephone connections per 100 inhabitants within an area, decreased to 115.63% from the 115.70% recorded in July.

The slight decrease in mobile subscriptions also resulted in a decline in broadband penetration, which fell to 45.57% in August from 47.01% in July.

Despite the marginal month-on-month declines in subscription numbers, the outlook for the telecoms sector remains positive. This is due to various factors, such as a shift towards advanced technologies, an untapped internet market, an underserved rural population, and favorable demographics. These factors suggest that the Nigerian telecoms market still possesses untapped potential and is likely to maintain its position as Africa's largest mobile market for the foreseeable future.

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