Four operators battle to keep fixed telephony service afloat
Four telecommunications firms are currently keeping Fixed wired telephone lines active in Nigeria. These companies are MTN, Globacom, IpNX and 21st Century.
Current industry statistics showed that 21st Century controls the largest market share with 83 per cent penetration. The other three operators are far distance away, with Globacom in second position having nine per cent market share, followed by MTN, which has six per cent, while ipNX services two per cent users in the market.
Relying on data from the National Bureau of Statistics, The Guardian gathered that the total number of fixed wired line subscriptions in March 2016 was 125,196, compared to 127,410 in December 2015 and 125,253 in March 2015.
The number however, fell both relative to the previous quarter, by 1.74 per cent, and relative to the previous year, by 0.05 per cent.
According to the statistics, though the number fell each month from January through to March, the biggest fall was in February, when the number fell to 125,232, from 127,253 in January, a fall of 1.59 per cent.
It was observed that though the number of both MTN Fixed and IpNX subscriptions fell, the fall was largely a result of a decline in MTN Fixed subscriptions, which fell by 23.09 per cent relative to December 2015 and by 31.81 per cent relative to March 2015. By contrast, IpNX subscriptions fell by 2.09 per cent and 1.14 per cent over the same periods. As a result the share of each of these providers fell.
MTN Fixed accounted for 5.98 per cent of subscribers in March 2016, compared to 8.77 per cent the previous year. IpNS accounted for 2.21 per cent, marginally lower than the 2.23 per cent accounted for the previous year.
The NBS data observed that in previous quarters IpNX had exhibited a seasonal pattern in subscription numbers – the only provider to do so – but this was broken in the first quarter of 2016. “For example in January and February in 2015 IpNX subscribers fell by 5.74 per cent and 9.21 per cent, before rebounding by 15.82 per cent in March, a pattern characteristic of each quarter prior to 2016 Q1. In January and February 2016 however, IpNX subscriptions fell by only 0.25 per cent and 1.10 per cent respectively, and fell by a further 0.75 per cent in March.”
It further explained that 21st Century recorded increases in the number of subscriptions over both periods, increasing marginally by 0.06 per cent relative to December 2015 and by 3.53 per cent relative to March 2015.
Glo Fixed subscriptions changed very little over either period, recording growth rates of 0.34 per cent relative to December 2015 and -0.38 per cent relative to March 2015. 21st century continued to be by far the largest provider of fixed wired line subscriptions, and at 82.42 per cent the share it accounted for was higher than the March of the previous year of 79.58 per cent. The share of Glo Fixed declined slightly over the same period, from 9.42 per cent to 9.39 per cent, although it remained the second largest provider.
According to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the GSM technology controls 99.1 per cent, with the Code division Multiple Access (CDMA) technology having 0.8 per cent, while the fixed wired and wireless control 0.1 per cent of Nigeria’s telephony market.