Airtel Reclaims Market Share at MTNN Expense


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Telecom service provider Airtel is set on reclaiming market share in the Nigerian telecom landscape, especially from market leader MTN. The measures put in place to achieve this feat appears to be working with the climb in market share moving from 25% in 2018/2019 financial year to 27% in 2019/2020.

Airtel succeeded in moving its voice market share from 25 percent to 27 percent within the period while the market leader, MTN shelved 2 percent of its voice market share which was 73 percent in 2019 as against 75 percent in 2018.

Airtel Nigeria gained more market share in the data market. In 2019, Airtel controlled 34 percent of the data market share, but that has risen to 38 percent by March 2020. On the other hand, MTN Nigeria’s data market share which was 66 percent in 2018 declined to 62 percent by December 2019.

For Airtel, 62 percent of its revenue was derived from voice services in 2020, even as it was lower than 67 percent which was the contribution of this source of revenue to the overall revenue in 2019.  Data sources contributed more revenue which rose to 32 percent in 2020 from 23 percent in 2019. Other revenue sources contributed 6 percent in 2020 down from 10 percent in 2019.

“More recently, the markets where we operate have begun to be impacted by the COVID 19 and the related actions that governments have implemented to reduce the risk of contagion. Our policy has been to keep our colleagues, suppliers, and customers safe whilst supporting the communities in which we operate. Telecoms businesses provide strategically essential services to ensure the functioning of economies and communities and are, therefore, more resilient compared to some other sectors.

On the Nigeria Stock Exchange, year to date, Airtel Nigeria’s share price remained unchanged at N298.90 per share while MTN Nigeria has gained 4.8 percent to close at N110 per share last week.

Airtel is on a long term ascendancy for growth. Its product enjoys credible patronage across the economic spectrum. That is set to continue as Airtel has the moniker of being the cheapest -to-use network in data and voice within the Nigerian telecom space. With the lockdown in most of April and May 2020, we expect the company to post equally strong results across all spectrums of its service but most especially in data services.

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