NCC Stats: MTN is Still King and Glo Continues to Lose Internet Users Despite Improvement in GSM Subscribers


The telecommunication space began the year on a good note because as of January 2020, total active telephone subscribers in Nigeria stood at 185.9 million. This means that about 1.3 million additional telephone users came onboard the various service providers network in the month of January.

According to the NCC stats, GSM operators continued their never-ending dominance of the market share with 185,742,016 subscribers which translates to 99.85%. The other technologies, Fixed (Wired) and VoIP accounted for 0.06% (11,038 subscribers)and 0.09% (174,321 subscribers) respectively.

Mobile landlines have technically 0 subscribers as there is no data available for them.

As amazing as the figure appears though, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the underserved are getting onboarded since people in the urban areas can own more than one SIM. This growth might be stunted following NCC’s new order of not owning more than 3 SIMs.

Among the GSM operators, there was no difference in positions from the last month. MTN still remains at the top beating 2nd placed Globacom, to stand at 70.69 million subscribers (38.06%), while Globacom has 51.7 million subscribers (27.86%).

Airtel comes third with 49.9 million subscribers (26.92%), 9mobile follows with 13.1 million subscribers and Visafone is behind with 138,144 (0.07%).

Of the 185.7 million GSM subscribers, only 128.3 million subscribers access the internet using the various GSM networks. As usual, MTN has the lead here with 55.5 million subscribers.

This time, Airtel leads Globacom with 35.5 million internet subscribers as compared to the 29.2 million for Glo. This means that while Glo might be a favourite amongst users for its voice services, it is not so when it comes to internet services. Not surprising because Glo subscribers have always complained about its poor internet connectivity.

9mobile continues to trail behind however with just 8 million subscribers.

NCC Stats: Nigeria Now Has 186 Million Active Phone Users, and MTN is Still King

According to the NCC stats, the number of users on 4G broadband increased in 2019. As of December 2019, Nigeria had 72,153,824, users on the broadband network representing 37.80%. However, in January the number increased to 73,466,093, which translates to 38.49%.

As a plus, the NCC stat also shows that in Q4 of 2019, the telecoms space contributed 10.60% to the GDP of the country. This is the 2nd highest for the year following the Q2’s contribution of 11.39%. What this shows is that the telecoms space is an integral part of the country’s economy, hence regulations for this space should be well thought out.

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