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Another marginal decline in mobile subscriptions in June

Based on new industry data from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria’s active mobile subscriptions declined marginally by 0.5% to 219.7 million in June 2023, compared to 220.9 million, recorded in May 2023.

This indicates that the country’s mobile subscriptions database was down by 1.2 million in June.

This decline comes after mobile subscriptions reached an all-time high of 227.17 million in February 2023.

Since then, we have seen four consecutive declines, having recorded a 1% decline in subscriptions in May and April, and a 0.4% decline in March. This is a concerning trend for the nation’s mobile operators.

  • MTN, which is the largest operator by subscribers number, pulled down the total industry database with a 925,925 decline in its subscriptions. This brought its total active subscriptions down to 84.6 million from 85.6 million it recorded in May 2023.
  • Airtel also recorded a 337,036 decline in its subscriptions database, with its active subscriptions declining to 60.2 million in June from 60.5 million in May.
  • 9mobile lost 82,234 in June, with active subscriptions declining to 13.7 million in June from 13.6 million in May .
  • Glo, on the other hand, saw a 179,851 gain in subscriptions in the month of June.

With this, the operator was able to maintain its position as the second-largest operator by subscriber number in June 2023.

The new activations on the network brought Glo’s total subscriptions to 61.3 million from 61.1 million recorded in May.

The country’s teledensity, which measures the number of active telephone connections per 100 inhabitants living within an area was down to 115.30% from 115.91% recorded in May.

We attribute the decline in active mobile subscription numbers to the abandonment of SIMs that have not been linked with the National Identification Number (NIN) as mandated by the government.

Given the recent directive of the NCC as contained in its new quality of service business rules, telcos were instructed to deactivate any line that has not been used for any revenue-generating activity for 6 months.

We expect to continue to see marginal declines in active mobile subscribers in the coming months.


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