Nigeria. A data Black hole.

I was reading the recent (Feb 2013) Forbes Africa article about Etisalat’s rise and the amazing run it had in reaching 14Mn subscribers in Nigeria. Considering the short period of time, I thought that was amazing. I came across another article shortly after which mentioned Visafone acquiring 3Mn subscribers in 16 months, again in a breath-taking short time. I have seen many reports which peg the Nigerian mobile subscriber base at 120Mn+ by the end of 2013.
Now, I am by no means a telecom guru or have any real expertise in this area, in fact I expect most people to largely disagree with me. But I am yet to see a data point in Nigeria I truly believe. Africa and especially Nigeria is simply a data black hole. When I was talking to my wife she summed it up simply.

Look there goes a ‘subscriber’ (image above)

Forget the numbers, how many of those 120Mn subs will be actually active on a phone and have credit on it? I personally have 11 mobile sims / phone numbers. I have an MTN, GLO ...

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