At 66 percent prevalence, Open Signal, the crowdsourced cell phone signal startup, has flagged Nigeria as the country with the highest penetration of dual SIM devices in the world.
Meaning; for every five mobile phones in Nigeria, three will most likely turn out to be Dual SIMed. South Korea has the lowest prevalence at 0.40 percent.
Open Signal put forth this fact in its most recent report, after crunching data generated from over a million Open Signal downloads. According to the research summary, the group was able to identify four different API methods that was then used to scope out dual or multi-SIM functionality.
“In general developing economies have a higher proportion of dual SIM users, in several countries dual (or multi) SIM users are the majority of Android users” the report reads. “The US, UK and Canada all have around 4% penetration, Australia is slightly higher at 5%. Several European countries have middle of the road values – Greece, Hungary, Spain, Albania, Croatia are all around 25%”
This is the first time a robust data is being presented on the prevalence of dual-SIM devices in the mobile ecosystem. Open Signal believes the results are significant in that they can be used for understanding consumer behaviours and access figures on mobile penetration in individual countries.
In Nigeria, the local telecoms regulator (NCC) puts the number of active lines at 136 million. Some analysts glibly use this metric to gauge mobile penetration in the West African country, but respected organisations like the GSMA frown on this trend and advocate “unique subscribers” as a more objective index.
The data from Open Signal, underscores the GSMA’s position. With 66 percent of Nigerians using dual SIM phones, actual mobile penetration could very well be light years away from the NCC’s sanguine estimates. A quick back-of-the-envelope calculation will leave us with 90.19 million. This becomes even more complicated when we factor in results from the most recent CcHub’s infographic which holds that a substantial percentage of Nigerians use more than one phone (possibly dual SIMed) allowing for three SIMs or more to one subscriber.
Image via: OpenSignal