Airtel Nigeria, the local unit of Indian telecoms operator Bharti Airtel, is aiming to increase its wireless subscriber base by around 18% by the end of the year to reach 30 million. ‘I’m very, very optimistic that there are no encumbrances against growth so I’m sure we’re going to reach the 30 million mark,’ Bloomberg quotes Airtel Nigeria manager Segun Ogunsanya as saying. ‘Despite the environment and the issues we face, I think we’re still giving relatively good service to our customers.’ Ogunsanya added that Airtel plans to spend around USD300 million on the expansion of its Nigerian unit’s network and services this year: ‘We have invested so much in marketing research to see what the customers want and we are delivering on those expectations.’
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database states that Airtel Nigeria had a customer base of 25.521 million as at 31 March 2014, behind South African market leader MTN Nigeria with 57.224 million at the same date. In the first three months of the year Airtel surpassed closest rival Globacom to claim second place in the sector; at the end of March 2014 locally-owned Globacom’s subscriber base totalled 23.416 million.