Although the telecommunications sector added about N1.5trillion to Nigeria's economy in the second quarter (Q2), but growth of the service providers however contracted.
Checks by The Guardian showed that the number of active telephone lines plummeted by four million between June and July. Subscriptions to telephone services fell from 143 million in June to 139 million in July. The four million drop in active telephone subscriptions increased inactive lines to 16 million in seven months.
As expected, the continuous fall has also impacted teledensity, which fell from 110 per cent in January to 99 per cent by July. Telephone density is the number of telephone connections for every hundred individuals living within an area. It varies widely across the nations, and also between urban and rural areas within a country.
Statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) showed that the growth of the four GSM operators contracted collectively by a negative 21.54 per cent.
Individual statistics of the service providers showed that by the end of Q2, MTN recorded -12.08 per cent growth; Globacom saw -0.22 per cent; Airtel had -1.53 per cent, and 9mobile down by -8.15 per cent.
The NCC statistics showed that MTN still controlled the market with 35.8 per cent market share and 49.7 million subscribers. It is followed by Globacom with 37 million subscribers and 26.8 per cent market share. Airtel controls 24 per cent of the market with 34.1 million subscribers. 9mobile has 12.7 market share with 17.6 million after losing between three million and four million customers during the controversies that surrounded its protracted $1.2billion syndicated loans from 13 banks.
At a recent interaction with journalists, in Lagos, NCC's Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management (ECSM), Sunday Dare, confirmed that the Commission was aware of the loss in mobile subscriptions in the country, occasioned by the economic crunch.