Mobile subscriptions in Nigeria surge to 185.74 million

Published: 12 March 2020 - 7:56 a.m.

Nigeria has consolidated its position as Africa’s biggest telecoms market, with mobile subscriptions climbing to 185.74 million, according to statistics released by the Nigerian Communications Commission.

MTN Group maintained its status as the country’s biggest mobile network operator, with a total of 70.7 million subscribers. Globacom remains the second largest MNO, with 51.8 million subscribers, while Airtel was third with 49.9 million. 9Mobile recorded 13.2 million subscribers and entrenched its position as the country’s fourth largest provider.

The news comes as a number of mobile network operators across the country have announced plans to ramp up 4G coverage in Africa’s most populous nation.

Earlier this week, Airtel Africa revealed that it had acquired an additional 10MHz of spectrum in the 900MHz band, to bolster its 4G data and voice services across the country.

MTN Group has also revealed that it has invested a total of $14.67 billion in its mobile network infrastructure in Nigeria to date, with the bulk of that spend going towards the acquisition of base stations to densify its 4G networks.

Despite a flurry of investment, Nigeria still ranks as one of the world’s worst locations for 4G network speed and availability. A recent report by Openreach ranked Nigeria as the 80th best place for 4G connectivity, out of a total of 87 countries surveyed.

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