The total number of mobile subscriptions in Nigeria dropped by 1.01 million to 225.82 million in March 2023, indicating a 0.45 per cent decrease, according to the latest industry statistics released by the industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
This shows a decline in growth in the telecommunications sector for the first time in almost two years as mobile subscriptions have recorded a steady growth since June 2021.
Mobile subscriptions fell from 226.84 million in February 2023 to 225.82 million in March 2023. However, the data from NCC indicated a 3.59 million increase from the 222.23 million mobile subscriptions in December 2022.
Though MTN maintains its position as the largest telecom provider with 91.55 million mobile subscriptions, it recorded a decline compared to 91.71 million subscribers in February. On the other hand, other telecom providers recorded an increase.
While Globacom ranked second with 60.79 million, Airtel followed with 60.33 million, and 9mobile with 13.14 million mobile subscriptions. On a year-on-year basis, a significant increase was recorded in mobile subscriptions from 199.20 million in March 2022 to 225.84 million in March 2023.
Teledensity, which refers to the number of active telephone connections per 100 inhabitants living within an area, fell to 118.48 per cent in March as against 119.01 per cent in February. Mobile Internet subscriptions grew to 156.98 million, with broadband penetration rising to 53.50 per cent and subscriptions declining to 92.03 million.
According to telecommunication companies, the slight decline might be due to the high inflation rate, petrol, and cash shortages during the period under review.