Telecoms Industry Subscribers Increases in contrast to declining GDP contribution

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The Telecom industry has received a growth in active subscribers in voice and on internet in Q1 and Q2 2019; the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics have reported. According to the report, a total of 173,713,842 and 174,042,116 subscribers were active on voice as against 162,032,481 in Q4 2018. This represented 0.18% increase in voice subscriptions QoQ.

Similarly, a total of 122,673,623 and 116,310,154 subscribers were active on internet as against 103,514,997 in Q4 2018. This represented 5.47% growth in internet subscriptions QoQ.

Lagos State has the highest number of subscribers in terms of active voice per State in Q2 2019 and closely followed by Ogun and Kano States respectively while Bayelsa and Ebonyi States have the least number of subscribers. Similarly, Lagos State has the highest number of subscribers in terms of active internet per State in Q2 2019 and closely followed by Ogun and Kano States respectively while Bayelsa and Ebonyi States have the least number of subscribers.

MTN has the highest share of subscription. This is closely followed by GLO , AIRTEL and EMTS respectively.

This growth in subscribers experienced by operators in the industry comes contrary to the decline in contribution to the total GDP from Q4 2018 through Q1 2019 to Q2 2019. According to the Q2 2019 GDP report, the sector grew by 11.34% in Q2 2019 from 12.18% in Q1 2019 and 16.67% in Q4 2018. The explanation is that though new subscribers are added, the volume of voice calls and data usage is declining. This phenomenon indicates the share of the disposable income spent on telecommunication by subscribers is beginning to shrink.

The other indication is that dew to competition among the industry operators, subscribers now get more data and airtime for less price. This will have a positive effect on the long run as consumers’ spending on telecommunication gradually becomes less constrained.

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