Nigerian GSM subscribers exceed 150m mark

11 Nov 2016

Nigeria, Africa’s largest mobile market by subscribers, ended September 2016 with a total of 152.84 million active GSM lines, an increase of 3.0% from 148.43 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 60.56 million at the end of 3Q 2016 (39.6% of total GSM users), followed by locally-owned wireless operator Globacom with 36.97 million users (24.2%), Airtel Nigeria – a subsidiary of Indian telecoms group Bharti Airtel – with 32.78 million subscribers (21.5%) and finally Etisalat Nigeria with 22.53 million users, giving it a GSM market share of 14.7%.

In contrast, the number of active mobile CDMA lines declined from 2.04 million at the end of September 2015 to just 276,304 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 third quarter of 2016 with just 158,280 fixed and fixed-wireless lines in service, down from 191,573 the previous year.