The Nigerian telecommunication industry has continued to record an increase in the number of subscribers. For the month of March, there’s an addition of about 4 million subscribers from February, putting the total number of GSM internet users to 136,203,231 according to data published by the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC).
Globacom gained the highest share of subscribers with over 2.9 million new users. MTN came behind with 794,020 new subscribers to put the total number of its subscribers at 57,282,123. Airtel was the third gainer on the table with 654,549 new subscribers to reach 36,827,677 in total number of users.
MTN’s subsidiary, Fisafone was stagnant from February to March, maintaining its 88,818 subscribers. 9mobile came fourth, losing 181,973 subscribers to maintain the loss from February. The total number of subscribers on the 9mobile network stands at 7,762,068.
In porting, 9mobile leads the table as the favorite network. A total of 8,225 GSM users ported to 9mobile from other network operators. Airtel lost more subscribers than any other operator. About 6,466 subscribers left its services. MTN also lost 3,701, while 9mobile was the least loser with 1,756 users.
The NCC put the total number of GSM subscribers in Nigeria at 188,989,051 in March, indicating a 1.84 million increase from the previous month.
Out of over 188 million subscribers, MTN leads the chat with 73,573,788 users, a 38.93% of total number of subscribers. Globacom follows with 51,856,114, total number of users, a 27.44% increase. Airtel took the third place with 51,298,878 subscribers while 9mobile took the fourth place with 12,123,1185. The two companies contributed 27.14% and 6.41% respectively of the numbers. Visafone was at the bottom of the table with 0.07% representing 137,086 subscribers.
There is an increase of 39.90% in broadband penetration for the month of March, representing a 0.53% gain from February. 3G and 4G subscribers rose to 76,163,674 from the 75,555,604 subscribers in the preceding month.
Unfortunately, 9mobile has not been able to gain more subscribers since March 2019. The company has instead lost about 4.7 million subscribers.
However, it has continued its push to beat the challenges that resulted in the failings. On Monday, the company announced the appointment of a new chief executive officer, Alan Sinfield. 9mobile said he has the wealth of experience, accumulated through operational activities in the telecom and banking industry, to revamp the company.
“He brings extensive international and operational experience from wireless telecom. Fintech, and banking sectors to his new role at 9mobile. His global experience covers countries as diverse as the United Kingdom, Germany, Portugal, Slovakia, Iraq, Qatar, Myanmar, South Korea, Cambodia and Hong Kong. He was previously the CEO at Amara Communication Co. (ananda), a 4GLTE mobile broadband operator in Myanmar, and before this, he was the CEO of Cadcomms (qb), in Cambodia.
“Other earlier roles included being CEO at Ooredoo (Starlink), a subsidiary of the listed Qatari Telecommunications Group, operating in Qatar and regionally, and also as chief customer services officer at orascom Telecom (IraQna), a subsidiary of the listed Egyptian telecommunications group, operating the first mobile network in Baghdad and surrounding territories providing voice and nascent data and satellite service,” 9mobile statement said.
It was based on this heap of experience that 9mobile hired Sinfield, trusting that he would wield the charm needed to resuscitate the dying telco.
Sinfield has also acquired wealth of experience working in the banking sector. He started with the Bank of America, and later became a programmer and business analyst. After his spell at Bank of America in Frankfurt, Germany, Sinfield joined the Barclays Bank in South Africa. Other countries where he worked in the banking sector include Slovakia, Hong Kong and Portugal.
The Chairman of 9mobile Nigeria, Alhaji Nasir Bayero said he trusts Sinfield’s ability based on his experience, to turn the table for the good of the company.
“Alan’s wealth of experience of building high performance and high-growth organizations will play a pivotal role in strengthening 9mobile’s market position in the highly competitive telecommunications industry. He brings with him vision, passion and years of experience from diverse environments, which will consolidate our priorities to provide superior customer experience and sustained network quality.
“He is expected to work closely with the Board of Directors and all stakeholders to define credible and achievable long-term business plans, through the introduction of solutions to address the evolving needs of the Nigeria telecommunication market,” he said.
Accepting the challenge before him, Sinfield acknowledged the competitiveness of the Nigerian market and vowed to use his experience to lead 9mobile out of trouble.
He said: “The Nigerian telecoms industry is characterized by strong competition, but it is also an industry that is important to people everywhere. Nigeria is rich in diversity and boasts of energetic, resilient, friendly and hardworking people. I am delighted to join the 9mobile family and look forward to using my experience and unique value propositions to lead the company in the next exciting phase of its journey.
“The goal is to build on the existing strong foundation of the company to create value that will transform the Nigerian telecoms sector. I also look forward to embracing the people, the culture and the unique knowledge that Nigeria has to offer.”