9mobile struggles, hinges survival on new loan facility

… Loses 200,000 subscribers in 1-month

Recent statistics released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) shows that all is not well with mobile as the company lost 237,973 subscribers alone between June and July 2019.

The telecom had previously lost 3.49 million internet subscribers in the last two years.

Recall that when the parent company, Etisalat Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, exited the Nigerian over a loan crisis, 9mobile had about12 million users, but the July report by the NCC shows 9Mobile now accounts for8.8 million users.

The crisis that nearly crippled the telecom firm, formerly known as Etisalat began in 2009 when it approached 13 Nigerian banks for a$1.2bn facility for the upgrade and expansion of its operations within Nigeria.

After failing to service the debt as required, and several unsuccessful attempts by the CBN and NCC to intervene, the company suffered a collapse as its major shareholders divested in 2017.

It’s been two years since the rebranding, and the telecom firm seems to still be struggling compare with its competitors.

Unlike its competitors, the network provider has struggled to hit the 16 million mark, as its highest climb has been 15.598million users in September 2015. 

According to NCC’s July report, 9Mobile accounted for 9million subscribers in June, but lost 237,973 within that period, making9Mobile the only network provider to drop in user number between June and July.

While 9Mobile has been losing subscribers, one of its competitors, Airtel has been growing its subscribers, adding 428,012subscribers within the same period 9Mobile lost over 200,000 users.

Glo had the second-highest growth in terms of subscriber number in the period under review. The company recorded an increase in its subscriber number after gaining 102,017 users at the end of July, hitting29.124 million from 29.022 million in June 2019.

MTN Nigeria had the least growth in the same period, adding 14,353 users. MTN, which listed its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in May, ended July with 52.269 million subscribers from 52,254subscribers recorded in June.

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