Nigeria’s mobile market received an additional two million subscribers between September and October this year, to 109.4 million from the previous 107.3 million, a report by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) shows.
NCC said that MTN Nigeria, Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat, all GSM operators, saw the largest growth, with their combined subscriptions rising to 105.9 million in October from September’s 103.6 million.
The growth in the GSM operators has boosted the country’s teledensity to 78.21 percent from 68.13 percent a year ago.
Visafone, Starcomms, Multi-Links and Zoom Mobile, all of which are Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) operators, saw a slight decline in the subscriptions from 3.2 million to 3.1 million.
This comes after the NCC predicted that the mobile subscriber base in Nigeria would grow by a significant 14 percent next year to 120 million.
The fact that the CDMA providers continue to face decline in their subscriber base could be the reason why the operators have requested approval from the Nigerian Stock Exchange to merge into one bigger CDMA provider.
“I believe the industry is still vibrant and the profitability issues are short (lived), particularly for mobile operators,” Lolia Emakpore, a director of Policy, Competition and Economic Analysis at the NCC was quoted saying during the merger talks in October this year. It is however not clear whether the merger talks are still taking place or not.