ACCOUNTING for about 40% market share, MTN Nigeria remains the most preferred telecom service provider, according to Nigerian Communications Commission data.
However, the telco giant lost market share to its immediate rivals in the industry in April. In its latest release, NCC reported that Nigeria’s mobile subscriptions declined marginally by 1% to 223.3 million in April 2023 from 225.8 million in March, indicating a decrease of 2.5 million subscribers.
This decline comes after mobile subscriptions reached an all-time high of 227.17 million in February 2023. Since then, the market has witnessed two consecutive declines, a concerning trend for the nation’s mobile operators, CSL Stockbrokers said in a market report.
Data from the commission showed that mobile subscriptions first fell to 225.82 million in March, before slumping further to 223.34 million in April.
In its review, CSL stockbrokers said this is also the first time since June 2021 that mobile subscriptions have fallen consistently.
The decline in total mobile subscriptions was caused by a loss of 3.0 million subscriptions by MTN, despite retaining its spot as the largest mobile network operator in the country.
MTN’s total subscriber base dropped from 91.6 million in March 2023 to 88.6 million in April.
At MTN Nigeria’s Q1 conference call, the Chief Executive Officer, Karl Toriola, noted that local challenges like inflation, and cash shortages had negatively impacted its consumer base resulting in the decline.
However, CSL analysts noted that other operators recorded a moderate increase despite operating under the same conditions pointed out by the CEO.
Based on the industry’s data, 9mobile had the largest rise in mobile subscriptions in April 2023, increasing from 13.1 million in March to 13.4 million.
Glo maintained its position as the second-largest operator by subscriber base in April 2023, with total subscriptions climbing to 60.9 million from 60.7 million in March of this year.
Airtel Nigeria’s overall subscriptions grew to 60.33 million from 60.32 million in March.
With the decline in mobile subscriptions, the country’s teledensity, which measures the number of active telephone connections per 100 inhabitants living within an area also decreased to 117.17% in April from 118.48% in March.