Nigerian GSM subscribers approach 150m mark

12 Aug 2016

Nigeria, Africa’s largest mobile market by subscribers, ended June 2016 with a total of 149.18 million active GSM lines, an increase of 1.8% from 146.49 million twelve months earlier. According to the latest figures from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), South Africa-based MTN remained the mobile market leader with a total subscriber base of 58.41 million at mid-2016 (a 39% of total GSM users), followed by locally-owned wireless operator Globacom with 36.32 million users (24%), Airtel Nigeria – a subsidiary of Indian telecoms group Bharti Airtel – with 31.98 million subscribers (21%) and finally Etisalat Nigeria with 22.47 million users, giving it a GSM market share of 15%.

In comparison, the number of active mobile CDMA lines declined from 2.11 million at the end of June 2015 to just 454,092 twelve months later, mainly attributable to the migration of Visafone’s customers to the GSM network of MTN, which acquired the CDMA operator at the end of last year. The NCC reported that the West African nation ended the first half of 2016 with just 170,539 fixed and fixed-wireless lines in service, down slightly from 182,643 the previous year.