9Mobile remains viable investment vehicle amid uncertainties
by DIPO OLADEHINDE
February 26, 2018 | 12:50 am| | | Start Conversation
9Mobile remains viable for investors as the mobile network company continues to attract subscribers according to data from the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2017 National Bureau of Statistics’ (NBS) telecom report.
9Mobile attracted the highest number of incoming porters from other networks despite the challenges it faced during the period under review.
Total Numbers Ported Incoming from Other Networks to 9mobile was at 5,177 followed by MTN at 1,538, while Airtel and Glo had 1,173 and 740 incoming porters respectively.
“Provision of good quality service by the telecom network to its subscribers led to the increase in the in-porting customers”, Boye Olusanya, CEO 9Mobile told BusinessDay on phone.
In the fourth quarter of 2017, total number of incoming and outgoing porting activities stood at 8,628 and 8,830, representing a decrease of 48.67 per cent and 47.14 per cent respectively over the previous quarter of Q3 2017.
BussinessDay investigations however revealed there was a 55 per cent decrease from 11,517 incoming porters in Q3 compared to 5,177 in Q4 2017.
9mobile also accounted for the least total numbers outgoing subscribers to other Networks with 1,447, followed by Glo with 1,848 while Airtel and Mtn recorded the highest number of outgoing customers at 2,760 and 2,775 respectively.
Notwithstanding the tremendous increase in the subscribers that ported into the network in Q4 of 2017, the embattled company ranked the lowest in the total number of network subscribers among its peers.
In the fourth quarter, the four largest voice communication providers were MTN, Globacom, Airtel and 9Mobile contributed to 36.14 per cent, 26.39per cent, 25.74per cent and 11.72per cent of the total telecom communication subscriptions respectively.
Total Active Voice Subscriptions in the fourth quarter of 2017 decreased by 6.12 per cent when compared with the same quarter of 2016, from to 154,529,780 in 2016 Q4 to 145,065,953 in Q4, 2017. The figure also indicates a 3.69 per cent increase from the number reported in the third quarter of 2017.
Among the top four network providers, Airtel, 9mobile (EMTS) and MTN only specialise in GSM technology, while Globacom operates both in the GSM and Fixed/Fixed Wireless Telecommunication technology space.
South West states recorded the highest active voice subscriptions with a total subscription of44, 465, 508 active voice subscriptions.
Lagos, Ogun, and Oyo states were the top three states and jointly accounted for 25.06 per cent of the total voice subscription of the country. Lagos led the pack with 19,417,181 total active voice subscriptions and 19,118,767 GSM users by the end of the fourth quarter, equalling 13.18 per cent of the total nationwide subscriptions.
Following the top three states were Kano with 7,382,805;Kaduna with 6,642,801 and Rivers with 5,456,860. Bayelsa state accounted for the lowest number of active voice subscriptions in the quarter under review, with 954,353.
The telecom company failed to reach an agreement on possible repayment plans with 13 Nigerian banks, where it took out a $1.2billion medium term syndicated loan facility in May of 2013, with the hope to refinance the existing commercial medium term debt of $650 million, but missed payment in February 2017, due to an economic downturn and scarcity of foreign exchange in the country.
This forced the Etisalat group to terminate a management agreement with its Nigerian arm, given the business time to phase out the Etisalat brand in Nigeria after its appointment of a new management board to run operations.
As a result, the telecom had to select a new brand name and identity, which it says is not a product of chance, but was carefully thought out and deliberated to represent its ‘Nigerianess’ (Naija-centricity) from the 0809ja heritage and the fact that it has operated in Nigeria for nine years.
Last week, BussinessDay reported Barclays Africa has officially written to Teleology holding limited, informing the company that it is the preferred bidder for the 9mobile sale.
In the letter sent to Teleology holdings, Barclays Africa, the financial adviser to the consortium of banks owed $1.2billion dollars by 9mobile (formerly Etisalat) said they had reviewed all bids submitted and recommends Teleology as the preferred bidder. The company was then asked to make a non-refundable financial deposit of $50 million dollars within the next 21 days to seal the deal.
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