Active mobile voice subscriptions on the MTN, 9mobile, Airtel and Globacom networks crashed from 154.7 million in January to 140.4 million in October, 2017.
This shows that 14.3 million active network users have been lost within 10 months, according to statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission on the subscribers under the GSM category.
Although Airtel and Globacom gained 422,925 and 190,031 new subscribers between January and October, respectively, MTN and 9mobile lost 11,528,125 and 3,400,894 subscribers, accordingly.
9mobile started the year with 20,521,952 active subscribers and by October, it had 17,121,058 subscribers remaining on its network, representing 12.2 per cent market share.
MTN’s subscriber figures dropped from 62,248,827 network users in January to 50,720,702 subscribers in October, representing 36.14 per cent market share.
As a result of the reduction in the two operators’ subscriber base from January to October 2017, MTN, Nigeria’s largest telecommunications company by subscriber base, and 9mobile lost about N27.32bn potential voice revenue within the 10-month period under review.
MTN Nigeria’s estimated revenue from voice calls dropped by N21.1bn based on the industry’s N1,830 Average Revenue Per User while 9mobile lost N6.22bn during the period.
MTN, in its quarterly report, had attributed the poor performance of the group’s subscriber base, which declined marginally by 0.7 per cent quarter-on-quarter to 230.2 million to lower reported subscribers in Nigeria and the disconnection of about 750, 000 subscribers in Uganda as a result of regulatory SIM registration requirements.
Stakeholders in the industry have warned of a loss in revenue due to increased usage of Over-the-Top Internet voice applications such as Whatsapp, Skype, and Facebook Messenger that offer instant messaging and voice calls to subscribers globally.
A United Kingdom-based research and analytics company, Ovum, also stated in a report that about $386bn loss would accrue over a period of six years (2012 – 2018) from Nigerian customers using the OTT voice applications.
The number of porting activities experienced by telecommunications service providers in October fell to 19,419 from 33,514 recorded in September.
This is contained in the NCC’s statistics on incoming and outgoing porting activities of the Mobile Network Operators.
9mobile gained the highest number of new subscribers amounting to 4,579 while Globacom recorded the lowest, put at 762.
In the month (October) under review, MTN gained 2,394 new subscribers while Airtel added 1,978 subscribers to its network.
The total number of new subscribers gained by MTN, Airtel, Globacom and 9mobile in October was put at 9,713.
In terms of outgoing porting, 9mobile lost 3,088 subscribers to other network providers; MTN lost 2,777 subscribers; Globacom lost 2,409 subscribers; while 1,432 subscribers left Airtel, making a total of 9,706 porting activities.