According to the Nigerian Communications Commission’s (NCC) 2021 Annual Report and Accounts for the year, the 2020 restriction on Subscriber Identity Module registration of SIM cost Nigeria more than nine million data subscribers in 2021. The report that was made public recently revealed that the number of active users of telecom services fell by 4.67 percent between December 2020 and December of 2021, going from 204,601,313 subscribers to 195,463,898 subscribers.
In addition, the number of active internet subscriptions dropped from 154,301,185 to 141,971,560, and the number of subscribers to broadband services fell from 45.02 percent to 40.88 percent in 2021. During the time period under consideration, there was a drop of 7.99% in the percentage of active Internet subscriptions, and this resulted in a significant decline in the year, while the number of subscribers to broadband services fell by 9.19 percent.
NCC audit of the subscriber registration database impacts the decline.
The NCC revealed that the overall decrease could be linked to the audit of the database of subscriber registration that took place over the course of which the purchase, enrollment, and activation of new SIM cards were put on hold till the conclusion of the exercise. The regulation also prevented visitors and those non citizens of the country from obtaining mobile lines and made it more difficult for current customers to regain their lost lines if they were missing.
However, in December 2020, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, who is the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, gave the NCC the go-ahead to conduct another audit on the Database of Subscriber Registration. The purpose of the audit was to validate and ensure compliance that the Mobile Network Operators were in accordance with the specifications and requirements of SIM Card Registration that the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and the Commission had issued.
Telecommunications industry also contributes to Nigeria’s GDP.
At the same time, regarding the impact of the telecommunications industry on Nigeria, the report highlighted that its contribution to Gross Domestic Product, GDP rose from 12.45 percent in 2020 to 12.61 percent in 2021, which is about 1.29% increase. It was observed that Global System for Mobile, known as GSM services, remains in control of the marketplace via technology, having 99.80 percent of the market share; meanwhile, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology, as well as Fixed Wired technology each, possesses 0.10 percent of the market.
It stated that with a market share of 37.72 percent, MTN remains the market leader in the GSM market, this is despite the fact that its market share has decreased by 4.65 percent, which was at 39.56 percent in 2020. Next in line is Globalcom, with 28.09 percent, all the way up from 26.86 percent in 2020, a rise of 4.58 percent; then Airtel, with 27.64 percent, which was at 26.86 percent in 2020, an improvement of 1.43 percent; and finally 9mobile, with 6.55 percent market share, moving up from 6.27 percent in 2020 which is a raise of 4.47 percent.
21st century dominated the Fixed Wired market with an 89.34% share.
Following the closure of the reporting period, it was stated that 21st century had a market share of 89.34 percent in the Fixed Wired market category, making it the dominant player in this market sector. Next in line was MTN fixed, then GLO fixed and ipNX, each of which held a market share of 1.16 percent, 2.56 percent, and 6.94 percent, accordingly. Additionally, in terms of market share for VoIP services, Smile Communication held 99.01 percent of the market, followed by Ntel, which held 0.99 percent of the market.