The battle for a greater data market share among Telcos in Nigeria continues to heighten, as Nigeria’s largest mobile telecommunication company, MTN, led the pack, second month in a row. Operators in the industry showed no signs of relenting on their efforts to outsmart each other for market share in the industry.
According to data released by the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), 1.88 million internet subscribers dumped Glo and 9mobile in November 2019 in favour of MTN and Airtel, two of Nigeria’s largest data sellers.
MTN leads the pack
From the previous report, MTN edged out Airtel for the first time in 5 months. In a similar fashion, MTN appears to be winning the data war again, as the telecom company gained 850,285 internet subscribers in November 2019.
MTN now has a total of 53.01 million subscribers compared to 52.16 million subscribers in the previous month.
Airtel, which had been the leading gainers’ table in recent months, recorded another drop. Though it continues to witness additional internet subscribers on a month-on-month basis, the Telco has lost its top table rank.
In November 2019, Airtel gained 307,070 subscribers, compared to 420,031 and 444,598 internet subscribers in October and September respectively. In total, active internet subscribers for Airtel rose to 33.92 million.
In terms of market share, Airtel continues to trail MTN as the latter expands its market share. While Airtel has significantly gained subscribers this year, it has remained behind MTN in terms of total internet subscriber base.
At the end of November 2019, MTN’s total market share rose to 67.34 million subscribers from 65.87 million subscribers recorded in October.
On the other hand, Airtel’s number of subscribers rose to 49.65 million from 49.08 million recorded in the previous month.
Pertaining to overall market share, MTN now controls 36.93%, while Airtel controls 27.20%.
Glo suffers monumental drop as 9mobile slips further
In a complete turn of events for Globacom, 1.67 million internet subscribers dumped the network in just one month. The GSM company continues to lose internet subscribers as more people dumped the network for the third month in a row.
Globacom lost about 1.67 million internet subscribers, an increase from 370,845 and 155,118 internet subscribers lost in October and September respectively. This means the GSM company has lost a cumulative 2.19 million internet subscribers in just 3 months.
9mobile also failed to attract new subscribers in the month under review, maintaining its steady decline. In November alone, 210,374 internet subscribers dumped the GSM company, a rise from 122,711 internet subscribers in October and 156,065 recorded in September.
Overall, Globacom now has 27.3 million subscribers, while 9mobile has 8.13 million internet subscribers.
Following the big drop recorded by both Glo and 9mobile, the number of internet subscribers across GSM networks has dropped to 122.4 million from 123.2 million recorded in the previous month.
Year-on-year, internet subscribers rose by 10.85 million since December 31, 2018, representing a growth of just 9.7%. The number of internet subscribers was 73,122,552 in October 2014, 5 years ago.
In terms of market share in percentages, Glo still controls 28% (51.1 million) market share, while 9mobile controls 7.80% (14.1 million) market share.
Telcos jostle for subscribers but Nigerians are not impressed
While GSM companies continue to jostle for market share, it has often come at the expense of poor service and lack of accountability. Quite frankly, as an average internet user in Nigeria, one is usually left at the mercy of poor mobile internet services which frustrates one to seek limited alternatives.
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 and affordable internet services.
While reporting, random subscribers’ opinions to determine recent developments during the month showed the following.
According to a Glo user, “I subscribed for an 8.7 gig data bundle for N4,000. As I am talking to you, I have not been able to use the data for once. To worsen the situation, I did not even get the full data bundle and I’m still unable to use the data. I had to buy Airtel data to use at the moment.”
A 9mobile user stated, “I have resolved to drop my 9mobile line. Honestly, it appears I don’t understand what is wrong with the network anymore. My data bundle burns out very quickly in a matter of days even without any download.”
According to an MTN user, “MTN internet service is fast as always, but the data burns out quickly. Although my current data bundle seems to last longer right now, this is quite unusual.”
To an Airtel user, “Airtel data is fast and I am enjoying it. I switched from Globacom due to bad network in recent times, although, Airtel data bundle has been burning out quickly lately.”