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MTN Nigeria has revealed how an upgrade in its system is causing mobile data of its internet subscribers to get exhausted fast. The revelation was made after a Nairametrics report disclosed that MTN Nigeria lost 664,245 Internet subscribers as rivals, Airtel and Visafone gained more.

MTN Nigeria is the largest telecommunications company in Nigeria but other network providers have continued to gain more ground against the yellow telco. In July 2019, MTN Nigeria had 52.2 million internet subscribers but the number of its data users dropped in August.

Nairametrics had reported that the number of MTN Nigeria’s internet users dropped to 51.6 million in August. That’s a loss of 664,245 Internet subscribers according to the Nigerian Communications Commission.

[READ MORE: MTN loses 667,245 internet subscribers, as Airtel records highest growth]

Reaction trails users exit: The report by Nairametrics drew reactions from MTN Nigeria’s users who condemned the rate of depletion of data by the company, while some identified themselves as some of the internet subscribers that port to other networks.


Reason for data depletion: While the reason for quick exhaustion of data has left many users in the dark, MTN Nigeria responded to a Nairametrics reader, Ulayefa Orubu, who tweeted with the Twitter handle @macheteros, “@MTN180 una dey see so? Your data doesn’t last at all…it’s sort of how fuel evaporates when it comes in contact with air.”

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Internet users

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Reacting to his enquiry, MTN Nigeria disclosed that an upgrade in its internet speed was the cause for the quick exhaustion of data.

“Y’ello @macheteros, sorry you feel this way about our data offer, the improved internet speed over 3G and 4G actually affects data depletion rate.”


What this means: The joy of an internet surfer is fast internet. However, a fast internet comes at a price according to MTN Nigeria. The faster your internet network is, the faster your data gets exhausted. This means you can’t have your cake and eat it.

There’s a side effect: Internet users are seeking a balance – fast internet with a low depletion rate. MTN Nigeria’s method is like informing a caller that the more you call, the more charges you get. That era of overcharging callers on voice calls has long gone, so, it’s time for MTN Nigeria to give its internet subscribers the satisfaction they desire or they will be seeking that from other networks.

[READ MORE: MTN Nigeria to raise N100 billion through commercial paper]


It’s obvious that system is not working, rather it’s costing them their subscribers, with 664,245 lost within one month while rivals like Airtel and Visafone gained 350,134 and 83,482 subscribers respectively in same August. This is not the first time MTN Nigeria will be losing internet subscribers. Back in June, the company lost 178,103 internet subscribers.



  1. MTN will always give excusess,the same old story with your per sec bill policy, you told us then it would take years to get that not until Glo came along and within months you guys were offering the same services. Once my data is exhausted, am leaving you guys for good, migrating to a more customers friendly network.

  2. One thing you can not take away from MTN is that they have a very reliable internet data speed that allows one to surf the net with ease. With MTN network you can access various sites and download files with good speed, something that is lacking in other networks. It’s difficult for you to have data and not able to enjoy good internet speed if you are using MTN. There is no dull moment in speed unlike what obtains with Airtel, Glo, 9mobile and Vodafone.

    • LOls MTN PR employee spotted. I’ve been on Airtel Data for eons not once has what you described happened to me. Let Telcos get their acts together. Don’t ever take your customers for granted. They can protest with their feet.

  3. I was initially doing 1.5G/mnthandit’ll last for a month. Sometime may exhaust few days before the month runs out.

    Now I do 4G and it gets exhausted writing 2weeks. I now do monthly sub 2times every month. That is different from the one I subscribes for my office use.
    I think it’s time to try that Airtel everyone has bn talking about.

  4. The claim by MTN that the quick depletion of data is due to the fast internet does NOT suffice at all. So, why are other networks like 9mobile and Airtel with good internet speed not depleting as yours?

  5. Airtel Internet network speed is as good as mtn in my location. So I prefer to browse more on airtel, using some mtn data for backups only


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