Competition for internet subscribers in Nigeria took a different turn as Nigeria’s largest mobile telecommunication company, MTN, edged out Airtel for the first time in 5 months, gaining a total of 488,120 internet subscribers.
This contrasts sharply against an earlier report which showed that MTN lost a whopping 667,245 internet subscribers, while Airtel Nigeria gained the biggest.
According to data from the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), a total of 493,556 internet subscribers dumped Glo and 9mobile during the month in favour of MTN and Airtel, two of Nigeria’s largest data sellers.
Despite the rise in MTN’s number of internet subscribers, it still pales in comparison to the over 2.4 million internet subscribers added in May 2019. MTN now has 52,163,778 subscribers.
Airtel, which had led the way in recent months in terms of gainers, recorded a slight drop. In October, it gained 420,031 internet subscribers, compared to 444,598 gained in the previous month. Airtel Nigeria continues to witness additional internet subscribers on a month-on-month basis.
In total, active internet subscribers by GSM stood at 123,206,103 compared to 122,792,291. This represents an increase of 413,812 subscribers only.
Internet subscribers on GSM networks have now increased by 11,573,587 since December 31, 2018, representing a growth of just 5.6 per cent. The number of internet subscribers was 73, 122,552 5 years ago in October 2014.
Globacom continues to lose internet subscribers as more people dumped the network for the second month in a row. The GSM Company lost about 370,845 internet subscribers, an increase from the 155,118 internet subscribers lost in September. The company has lost a cumulative 525,963 internet subscribers in just 2 months.
9mobiles also failed to attract new subscribers as its steady decline persisted in the month under review. In October alone, 122,711 internet subscribers dumped 9mobile, as against 156,065 recorded in September.
Airtel continues to trail as MTN extends market share. While Airtel has significantly gained subscribers this year, it still trails behind MTN in terms of total internet subscriber base.
Nigeria’s internet download speed remains among the slowest in the world, and while the telcos continue to rake in heavy gains from data sales, consumers’ continue to groan for lack of fast, cheap and affordable internet services.