Pyramid: Nigeria to reach 182M mobile subscribers in 2019

The Nigerian mobile market is poised for growth in the coming few years, with the number of mobile subscribers expected to reach 182 million by the end of 2019.

According to a report by Pyramid Research, LTE subscriptions will account for around 8.1 million by this point, or 4.5 per cent of total mobile subscriptions. The research company noted that the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) plans to auction spectrum in 2015, and said a number of operators have expressed interest in the opportunity.

Recent figures from the NCC show that Nigeria had around 136 million active mobile users in November 2014, including both GSM and CDMA technology, although the figures also show that there were over 182 million connected GSM lines and almost 4 million connected CDMA lines at that time.

Pyramid Research noted that Nigeria will remain the biggest market for mobile subscriptions on the African continent and, as the largest economy on the continent, will play an important role in defining future mobile trends.

"Other countries in Africa are likely to follow Nigeria when it comes to mobile technology developments. The increasing demand for mobile data will offer service providers, as well as new entrants to the market, ample opportunity to test and grow their service offerings in Nigeria," said Severin Luebke, analyst at Pyramid Research.

The mobile voice segment was also the largest contributor towards overall telecoms revenue in 2014 with $7.3 billion (€6.3 billion)--an increase of $219 million from 2013. Pyramid Research forecasts that mobile data and pay-TV will grow at compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) of 16 per cent and 5.2 per cent respectively from 2014 to 2019, to reach $3.8 billion and $647 million respectively.

In terms of the overall telecoms market, the research company said revenue is expected to reach $10.9 billion in 2019, up from a total of $9.2 billion in 2013. In 2014, the Nigerian telecoms industry generated $9.8 billion in service revenue, a 6.8 per cent increase over 2013.

The top two operators, MTN Nigeria and Airtel Nigeria, which provide fixed-line, mobile and Internet services, accounted for 68 per cent of overall service revenue in 2014. Both operators are investing in 3G and fibre networks to cater to the increasing demand for data and pay-TV services, Pyramid Research said.

For more:
- see this Pyramid Research release
- see the NCC telecoms subscription stats

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