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Nigeria’s Internet subscription up by 13% in February


ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – Latest data released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the industry regulator, reveal that internet subscriptions grew by 13% y/y to 93.6 million in February. This represents a density of 55%, placing Nigeria well above the African average of around 16% as estimated by McKinsey.
A peep into the data reveal that MTN is leading the telecommunications space by owning 38% market share. The fall-off in telecoms and internet numbers experienced has been on since November 2015. Sundiata Post investigations suggest that this could reflect the mandatory registration of SIM cards by the regulator.
The NCC data also capture porting activities. Despite emerging as the top operator for internet subscriptions, MTN suffered the largest loss of GSM subscribers as it accounted for 62% of total outgoing porting activities in February.  Etisalat and Airtel were the main beneficiaries, accounting for 48% and 37% of total incoming porting activities respectively in the same period.
Last month, the NCC announced the resumption of the 2.6GHz spectrum auction. It is expected that the government would earn over $200m from the auction of 14 slots of the 2.6 GHz spectrum, as each slot would be issued at a reserve price of $16m. This process is expected to enhance internet access in the country.
The inflation data for March show that communication prices rose by 4.2% year-on-year (y/y) in March 2016 compared with 3.7% recorded in February 2015. This component has a 0.7% weighting in the index increase is due to recent rise in the cost for data services.
There are fears that the foreign exchange (Forex) scarcity is causing a strain within the sector. There are challenges importing telecommunications equipment which assist in enhancing broadband penetration. Given the country’s macro challenges, the broadband penetration target of 30% by 2018 may not be attained.

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