According to new industry statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission, the number of active telecommunication subscribers in the country reached 214.35 million in October.
The regulator notes that this is the highest number of recorded telecom subscribers in the nation since the total number of subscribers peaked at 207.58 million in October 2020.
Speaking on what has driven subscriber growth in 2022, telcos revealed that more subscribers were getting new SIMs to circumvent restrictions on SIMs that had not been linked with their National Identification Numbers.
In MTN’s third quarter release, its Chief Executive Officer, Karl Toriola, said, “The average daily gross connection was 48.1 per cent above the pre-directive level, partly driven by the cohort of subscribers who were initially restricted and opted to register new SIMs.
“Combined with increased usage from the existing base, these have kept an acceleration in the service revenue growth recovery and mitigated the impact of churn on the base.”
According to the global industry’s association, Nigeria has a sizeable population under the age of 18, indicating that its subscriber growth will remain vital for the foreseeable future as more young consumers cross into adulthood and subscribe to mobile services.
GSMA predicts 18 million new Nigerians to become unique telecom subscribers by 2025. Mobile connectivity is at the core of connectivity in Nigeria, with the majority of online services accessed through mobile channels in the nation.
GSMA believes that mobile connectivity is set to play a crucial role in defining the new normal in the nation. It said, “In 2021, mobile technologies and services generated around 8 per cent of GDP across Sub-Saharan Africa, a contribution that amounted to almost US$140bn of economic value added.