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#NCCReport: GSM Operators Lost roughly 100,000 Internet Subscribers in August

ByNews Editor

Oct 4, 2019 #NCC

For the second time this year, thousands of Nigerians opted out of using their SIMs to access the internet as Nigeria’s GSM internet subscribers reduced by about 100,000 in the month of August.

According to the newly released statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for August, the total number of GSM internet subscribers stood at 122,585,515 – indicating a decline from the 122,681,418 subscribers recorded in the month of July.

The first time this happened this year was in the month of June when GSM subscribers fell by 332,338 – from 122,624,417 in May to 122,292,079 in June.

NCC Internet Subscribers stats for August 2019.

According to the statistics, MTN was the biggest loser for the month despite it controlling a far larger market than anybody else. Its total number of subscribers stood at 51,602,025, indicating a loss of over 600,000 subscribers when compared to the 52,269,270 recorded in July. However, it still remains the choice network for users who want to use their sims to access the internet.

Airtel comes second with a total of 32,753,406 edging the 3rd biggest telco, Globacom which stood at 29,521,597. Unfortunately, 9mobile still hasn’t gotten back in the race as the telco continues to loose subscribers to now stand at 8,625,005 in August.


Meanwhile, as GSM internet subscribers took a hit, Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) subscribers had a meagre rise. The space gained over 3,000 new subscribers in August to stand at 380,274.

GSM Market Share by telcos for August

Of the total 176,897,879 active telephone lines in Nigeria as recorded for August, MTN still retains the pole position as Nigerian telco with 65,707,899 total subscribers at 37.20% of the subscriber share. Airtel follows with 47,921,891 active subscribers at 27.13%, Globacom tags along closely with 47,265,628 at 26.76%.

9mobile continues to trail behind with 15,602,255 users at 9%. Newly added Visafone also accounts for 0.07% of the market share with its 119,386 subscribers.

Although it has lost over 4 million internet subscribers since June 2017, 9mobile, still somehow continues to remain Nigerians best network to port to. Or at least that’s what the stats say.

Incoming Porting activities in for the month of August 2019.

The telco garnered more subscribers leaving other networks than any other telco. NCC stats show that the telco had 7,316 incoming porters, almost 70% of the porting activity for the month of August. Although this is still quite meagre compared to the number it looses.

Globacom remains the least desired telco to port to with just 575 incoming porters while Airtel and MTN recorded 1,435 and 1,714 respectively.

With the constant increase in telecom subscribers, the sector has also upped its impact on the country’s GDP growth levels. According to the NCC stats, the telecom sector as at Q2 of 2019 contributes 11.39% of Nigeria’s GDP. That indicates an increase from the 10.11% recorded for the first quarter of the year.

Telecoms sector's contribution to Nigeria's GDP
Telecoms sector’s contribution to Nigeria’s GDP

At this rate, the sector continues to prove to be an important part of the country’s economy. Government would do well to pay more attention to the policies and issues in this sector as it could significantly impact their contributions.

By News Editor

Our News Editor, Muyiwa is an information management expert and Development Blogger with more than a decade experience in investigative reporting and journalism. He is passionate about human angle stories to all social issues in Nigeria and Africa.