Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Angry MTN subscribers ditch Nigeria's Leading Telecom

Angry MTN subscribers ditch Nigeria's Leading Telecom

When I wrote about the death of blackberry, I saw the decline and eventually the death of the RIM industry.  Here is the latest fall and decline of Nigeria's most powerful mobile subscribers.

Thousands of Nigerians are happily porting their mobile numbers from MTN to other networks such as Airtel and Etisalat each month, according to statistics from the country’s telecoms regulator.

Last year, Nigeria allowed mobile number portability (MNP), which lets subscribers change networks while retaining the same number. This aided the massive cross over from the be-witched MTN to smaller telecoms.

New statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) revealed that MTN experienced 3,695 outgoing ports in February 2014: the highest among all mobile operators in the country.

In second place with outgoing ports was Airtel with 1,338, Globacom (or Glo Mobile) had 1,240, and Etisalat had 807, say NCC figures.

But Airtel and Etisalat had the most incoming ports of any operator in Nigeria with respectively 2,950 each.

“Etisalat held that ace for a while, mostly because of the perception of better data services on their network, but Airtel overtook them as desired porting destination in September 2013,” Nigeria technology expert, commentator and ICT for Development (ICT4D) consultant. 'Gbenga Sesan, told ITWeb Africa.

“It might mean a shift in perception as they (Airtel) have also recorded a major growth in market share - overtaking Glo - but MTN is a long distance ahead and I suspect more competition would mean MTN tries harder to retain or grow customer its base. The customers win, “ Sesan said.

Of course, MTN’s high level of outgoing ports is strongly tied to its dominant Nigerian mobile market share of 45% in February 2014 with just over 57 million subscribers according to the NCC.

Airtel is the country’s next biggest operator with a 21% share of Nigeria’s mobile market and just over 26 million subscribers. Globacom occupies third place with a 20% market share and just over 24 million subscribers, while Etisalat has a 14% market share with over 18 million subscribers.

Overall, the NCC says Nigeria recorded 167,371,945 GSM mobile subscribers for the period February 2014. So why the massive divorce from MTN. Is this the fall and eventual death of Nigeria's leading mobile telecoms?

Nigeria's levels of mobile number ports; though, remain low compared to its market size owing to the reported high adoption of dual-SIM handsets in the country.


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