GSMA: Nigeria to push Africa’s mobile subscriptions to 613 million by 2025

Nigeria is expected to lead the next wave of mobile subscription growth in sub-Saharan Africa, helping the continent reach 613 million connections by 2025.

According to the Global Mobile Operators Association (GSMA), there will be 100 million additional subscribers in sub-Saharan Africa by 2025.

GSMA noted that Nigeria, which has the largest population in Africa, continues to drive subscription growth on the continent. This will hold for the next 3 years despite the current level of mobile penetration in the country.

In driving mobile growth, Nigeria is followed by Ethiopia, the continent’s second most populous, with a population of 120 million.

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New Subscribers: While making projections to 2025 in its “Mobile Economy Sub-Saharan Africa 2022”, the GSMA said:

  • “At the end of 2021, 515 million people subscribed to mobile services in sub-Saharan Africa, representing 46% of the population, an increase of almost 20 million from 2020. There will be almost 100 million new subscribers in 2025, which brings the total number of subscribers to 613 million (50% of the region’s population). The two most populous countries, Nigeria and Ethiopia, will account for almost a third of new subscribers in the period to 2025.

Of the total new subscribers expected, Nigeria will add 18 million over the next 3 years, followed by Ethiopia with 12 million.

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Factors that drive growth: GSMA noted that the demographics of sub-Saharan Africa, with a significant proportion of the population under the age of 18, means that subscriber growth will remain strong for the foreseeable future as young consumers move into adulthood and can subscribe to mobile services.

  • New subscribers are more likely to be tech-savvy and interested in adopting mobile internet services, especially more advanced 4G and, when available, 5G services. This is a trend to watch, considering the implications for high-speed connectivity and the creation and distribution of digital services in the region. the report said.
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Data from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) shows that as of October this year, active mobile subscriptions in Nigeria stood at 214.3 million. This shows that the country’s mobile subscription database grew by 19.2 million this year, as the figure stood at 195 million in December 2021.


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