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 Thursday, January 17, 2008

The number of mobile connections in Nigeria finished just 10k shy of 44m at the end of Q3 07, and penetration broke through 30% to finish on 32.4%. Net additions totaled 16.90m in the 12 months ending 30th September 2007 and annual growth stood at 62.4%, only marginally below the 63.6% rate recorded a year earlier.

In quarterly terms, the market grew by 14.6%, with a record 5.62m net additions.

Glo Mobile overtook MTN to become the Nigerian market leader in Q2 07, although it had edged ahead briefly in Q4 06 with a lead of 4k at the end of the year. At the end of June 2007 its lead was 1.1m, and three months later it had grown to 3.0m, with 18.01m customers to MTNís 14.99m. In terms of market share, Glo posted a figure of 40.9% at the end of Q3, giving it a 6.8pp lead over MTN. Glo achieved this result through two excellent quarters with net additions of 2.77m in Q2 and 2.87m - its best ever result - in Q3. In total, it added over 8.55m new connections in the year, compared to 4.61m for MTN.

Nigeria: Quarterly Net Additions

In fact, as the above chart shows, Celtel has also had an excellent quarter, claiming a clear second place for net additions with 1.91m to finish the quarter with a total customer base of 9.88m. In proportionate terms, it posted a quarterly growth rate of 24.0%. The fastest growing operator in Q3, however, was CDMA operator Starcomms, which launched at the end of March. Although it has yet to make a significant impact on the market with just 0.9% market share at the end of Q3, it did claim top spot for quarterly growth with a rate of 28.9%. It finished Q3 just short of 0.4m customers. The fifth operator in the market is Nigerian Mobile Telecommunications (Nitel), which has been in decline for some time with three successive quarterly losses. At the end of Q3 07, it had 0.72m customers, having lost over 0.55m in the year. However, with new owners in place at Nitel, there is finally a glimmer of hope for this business and we will follow developments with a keen interest in 2008.

Source: Cellular News.