States where telecoms firms gained voice subscribers in second quarter 2019

The latest data on voice subscription indicates that the number of voice subscribers increased by 0.19 percent between the first and second quarters of 2019. At the end of March 2019, the total number of voice subscribers stood at 173.7 million. With additional 336,713 new callers, Nigeria’s voice subscribers rose to 174 million in June 2019.

Airtel Nigeria and Globacom Nigeria were the clear winners during the quarter. The former added 691,660 voice subscribers while the latter added 391, 278 voice subscribers to their networks during the period. Telecoms industry’s market leader, MTN Nigeria, gained 107,551 new subscribers. On the flip side, 9Mobile network lost 873,153 voice subscribers during the second quarter of 2019.

Why are we interested in this subject? In 2012, Deloitte, GSMA and CISCO investigated the impact of mobile telephony on economy growth. According to the findings of their scholars-Chris Williams (Deloitte), Gabriel Solomon (GSMA) and Robert Pepper (Cisco), “a 10 percent increase in mobile penetration increases total factor productivity (TFP) in the long run by 4.2 percent percentage points. TFP is a measure of economic productivity that often reflects an economy’s long-term technological dynamism”, they said.

It is interesting to know that some years back, as the number of voice subscribers rose geometrically in Ogun State, simultaneously, not only did it emerge as the nation’s manufacturing base, additionally when measured by internally generated revenue(IGR), Ogun State is now the third most productive state in Nigeria after Lagos and Rivers states. In other words, increase in voice subscriptions should be interpreted to mean salient economic transformations which might not have been noticed by investors.

In effect, the majority of the growth came from Airtel Nigeria, whose voice subscribers increased by 1.53 percent from 45.2 million in first quarter to 45.9 million at the end of the second quarter. That means Airtel Nigeria was able to add 691,660 voice subscribers, implying that averagely, it added 230,553 voice subscribers on a monthly basis during the second quarter.

Globacom Nigeria’s voice subscribers grew by 0.85 percent from 46.2 million to 46.6 million subscribers which means it added 391,278 subscribers, and the market leader, MTN Nigeria, increased its voice subscriber base by 0.17 percent with additional 107,551 new clients to have 65.14 million subscribers in first quarter which increased to 65.1 million voice subscribers in June 2019. Voice subscribers who are neither on MTN, Globacom nor Airtel, rose by 5.20 percent from 372,347 to 391,724 during the quarter.

In terms of market share, MTN Nigeria controlled 37 percent of the market share, Globacom, 27 percent, Airtel Nigeria, 26 percent while 9Mobile was at the fringes with 9 percent market share.

Source: NBS, BRIU

States where growth in voice subscribers took place

Growth in voice subscribers took place in 19 states while 18 states witnessed declines in voice subscribers as the national growth rate in voice subscribers was 0.19 percent at the end of the second quarter. Imo State recorded the highest growth rate while Bauchi State witnessed the least growth rate in voice subscribers during the period.

With 7.86 percent growth rate in Imo State, voice subscribers rose from 3.59 million to 3.87 million subscribers. That was the highest growth in voice subscribers across the federation. However, the growth in voice subscribers was significant in just a network-Globacom Nigeria.
The strong preference for Globacom resulted in a 29.48 percent rise in its voice subscribers, which translated to additional 198, 642 voice subscribers during the period. MTN grew its voice subscribers by 4.41 percent implying that it added 80,820 new voice subscribers to its network in the state. Airtel Nigeria gained 18,969 new subscribers while 9Mobile lost 16,229 existing subscribers. Regardless, MTN Nigeria controls the largest market share in Imo State with 1.91 million subscribers as at the second quarter.

MTN and Airtel are the leading telecoms operators in Anambra State when measured by market share. But during the second quarter of this year, Globacom gave them a run for their money as it recorded the highest growth in voice subscribers.

Overall, voice subscribers in Anambra State increased by 5.54 percent, and that growth makes it the state with the second highest growth rate in voice subscription at the end of the second quarter. When appraised by networks, Globacom voice subscribers rose by 18.06 percent as against MTN Nigeria’s 3.84 percent; Airtel Nigeria’s 3.92 percent while 9Mobile’s voice subscribers fell by 4.98 percent.

New 60, 140 voice subscribers were added to the nation’s telecoms networks in Bayelsa State during the quarter, indicating that voice subscriptions in the state increased by 5.02 percent. Again, most of the growth was recorded in Globacom which added 56,963 new subscribers to its network representing an increase of 16.11 percent. Airtel Nigeria also grew its voice subscriber base by 1.82 percent.

Voice subscription grew by 4.99 percent in Edo State, the fourth highest in the country during the quarter, which amounted to 269,832 new voice subscribers. Globacom Nigeria gained the most with 325,979 new voice subscribers. Airtel Nigeria witnessed marginal growth to the tune of 0.25 percent while others recorded a decline in the number of callers.

Source: NBS, BRIU

Airtel Nigeria’s highest growth in voice subscription was in Sokoto State where it grew its callers’ base by 14.01 percent, translating to 63,890 new subscribers. In Kano State, a 3.80 percent increase in Airtel Nigeria’s callers’ base resulting in 131,973 new callers during the period.

The bottom five states during the period are Adamawa, Plateau, Gombe, Taraba and Niger. Voice subscription fell by 2.97 percent in Adamawa State, and the worst hit networks were Globacom, 9Mobile and Airtel Nigeria. MTN Nigeria recorded 0.17 percent growth in its callers’ base.

Plateau State recorded 3.43 percent decline in voice subscription and Globacom and Airtel Nigeria were the two most affected during the quarter. Voice subscription fell by 3.68 percent in Gombe State; it further fell by 3.97 percent in Taraba; 5.25 percent in Niger State.




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