September 4, 2013

Nigeria, other African countries record 781m mobile subscription in Q2

By Prince Osuagwu

The global mobile subscription would hit 9 million by 2018 and Nigeria, South Africa among other African countries are major part of this realisation with current standing of about 781 million in mobile subscription.

This was revealed in the second quarter statistics of Ericsson’s Mobility report released in Stockholm, Sweden at the weekend.

Nigeria led the pack of the African countries, including South Africa and Kenya, by adding about 20 million new subscriptions in quarter two of 2013.

The Continent ranked third in the report after Asia Pacific and China, which presently have 1.28 billion and 1.17 billion mobile subscriptions respectively.

With about 105 million net additions of mobile subscription across the globe in Q2 2013, Western Europe; Central and Eastern Europe; India; Middle East; Latin America and North America added one million; six million; eight million; six million; and four million new subscribers respectively.

The report also disclosed that the global mobile subscription was expected to grow six per cent from 2012 to 2018, reaching nine billion, higher than the population of the world, presently pitched at about seven billion.

The report, which currently puts global mobile subscriptions at 6.5 billion as at the end of June, noted that world wide mobile penetration reached 91 per cent, “however, the actual number of mobile subscriptions is around 4.5 billion, since many have several subscriptions.”

According to Ericsson’s Head of Strategic Marketing and Intelligence, Patrick Cerwall, China alone accounted for 30 per cent of net additions, adding 30 million subscriptions; Indonesia added nine million; India added eight million; Bangladesh added five million; Nigeria added four million in terms of net additions.

Indeed, statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) put the country’s connected lines at 181 million with active lines now 120 million.

Nigeria’s four GSM operators including MTN Nigeria; Globacom; Airtel and Etisalat currently shares 117 million active lines; while the Code Division Multiple Operators including Visafone; Starcomms and Multilinks battle for 2.56 million subscribers. The Fixed Wired and Wireless operators share 382,678 lines. This is even as Nigeria’s teledensity is presently at 85.3 per cent.

Cerwall however noted that mobile subscriptions have grown around seven per cent year-on-year and two per cent quarter-on-quarter basis. He contended that, there was a large difference between the number of subscriptions and subscribers.

He attributed this to the fact that many subscribers have several subscriptions, with reasons including users lowering their traffic cost by using optimized subscriptions for different types of calls; maximizing coverage and having different subscriptions for mobile PCs, tablets and for mobile phones.