MTN, Airtel gain subscribers as porting number peaks

National telecommunications operator MTN led the gainers’ table in the porting figures in 2022, according to the data released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

According to the port-in activities of mobile network operators’ data made available by the industry regulator, MTN recorded a total of 20,123 subscribers who ported into the network from other operators in 2022, compared to 6,380 subscribers in 2021.

With number portability, analysts foresee mass mitigation of subscribers to networks with quality service, in view of this network operators are strengthening the capacity of their network in other to obviate mass exodus of subscribers to other networks.

“There are many reasons many people would want to port from one network to another network. For example, subscribers can port because of prices. A network that decides to lower the cost of its data bundle and has a relatively stable service is most likely to attract subscribers from rival networks. People also port because of poor coverage. MTN which has the largest network has and continues to earn more porting subscribers than other networks due to its capacity,” Ajibola Olude, chief operating officer of the Association of Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ATCON) said.

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Airtel came second with a total gain of 5,030 for the year 2022 of subscribers who ported into the network from other service providers, compared to 5,437 in 2021. While Globacom and 9mobile came third and fourth with a total of 5,358 in 2022 and 2918 in 2021.

However, a total of 30,511 telecom users engaged in porting-out activities across the networks in 2022, as against the 11,250 recorded in 2021.

The porting activities showed that telecom users were most comfortable with the services of MTN, hence, the movement of most subscribers from other networks to its network.

In December 2021, MTN successfully acquired the 3.5GHz spectrum to enable fifth generation (5G) rollout which was a significant step towards achieving the Nigeria broadband plan of 2025.

The 5G mobile network offers faster data speed and latency, and allows several devices to e connected in one go, and creates a fast opportunity for innovation and transformation.

Karl Toriola, CEO, MTN Nigeria said, “The benefit of 5G is multi-faceted, and they hold the key for unlocking new avenues for the nation’s growth and development, it is far more than high-speed internet or faster-streaming speed.”

“5G has the implication of improved service delivery, across every sector, has the potential to transform the economy and make a difference in the daily lives of Nigerians,” he said.

However, further analysis of the industry data revealed in the outgoing table, the telecommunications giant, MTN lost a total of 2,565 subscribers to other networks through mobile number portability activities in 2022.

According to the data, 9mobile has the worst hit during the exercise, followed by Airtel Nigeria, which lost 17,978 and 7,119 customers in the period under review. While 2,831 customers of Globacom ported to other networks in the same period.