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Airtel loses over 100,000 subscribers in one month, as Glo chases MTN’s market share

Airtel lost over 100,000 subscribers in Nigeria between December 2019 and January 2020. While Airtel Nigeria’s subscribers declined,



Airtel partners Western Union to expand its own mobile money service , Airtel loses over 100,000 subscribers in one month as Glo chases MTN's market share cvf

Despite massive media campaigns over the last few months, Airtel lost more than 100,000 subscribers in Nigeria between December 2019 and January 2020.

But while Airtel Nigeria’s subscriber base declined, it’s rivals –MTN Nigeria and Globacom–recorded growth in their total number of their respective active subscribers.


Based on the performance indicators for January, it appears that Airtel’s strategy of using top Nollywood actors in its numerous commercials have failed to appeal to market audiences.

(READ MORE: Airtel Africa receives NCC approval to acquire 10 MHz spectrum for $94 million)

Losers in the telco market

According to the telephone service report which was recently released by Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Airtel Nigeria accounted for 49.9 million subscribers in January 2020, a slight decline compared to the 50.1 million it had in December last year.

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Note that Airtel and Globacom have recently been on each others’ jugulars, vying for market share in a bid to occupy the number two position in the Nigerian telecoms industry. But now that Globacom has finally pulled ahead of Airtel, the question remains about how long it can manage to maintain the number two position right behind MTN Nigeria.

In the meantime, 9mobile continues to struggle. The company, which was formerly known as Etisalat, has been losing its subscribers since a recent change in ownership led to a brand name change.

Based on the latest report by the NCC, 9mbile is now the highest loser, with its subscriber base declining by over 484,000 in January alone.

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Regulation forces Airtel Africa to initiate shares listing in Malawi , Airtel loses over 100,000 subscribers in one month as Glo chases MTN's market share cvf

Prior to January 2020, 9mobile had 13.6 million subscribers in December. That number now stands at 13.1 million. The last time the network provider surpassed 15 million active subscribers was in May last year.


The gainers of the telco market

The NCC report showed that Globacom’s subscriber based increased by 55,509 to hit 51.75 million in January, up from 51.70 million in December 2019. It is believed that the surge in Globacom’s subscribers has been its aggressive marketing which has helped it to secure 27.85% of the market share.


Just like Airtel Nigeria, the Mike Adenuga-owned company has been using top celebrities to push for market share. Luckily for Globacom, the expensive media budget has been reflective on its subscriber base. Unfortunately, the same cannot quite be said for Airtel Nigeria which holds 26.92% of the market.

(READ MORE: Data War: MTN gains 8.18 million subscribers, as Airtel edges Glo, 9mobile in 2019)

On its part, MTN Nigeria has continued  to maintain its position as the leader in the Nigerian telecoms industry. The company was the biggest gainer in the month of January, having added 1.93 million subscribers to its already existing 68.7 million subscribers as of December. This has, therefore, increased MTN’s total active subscribers to 70.6 million in January 2020.

This means the Y’ellow firm account for 38.06% of the market share. Altogether, the industry recorded an increase from 184.4 million telephone subscribers in December to 185.7 million subscribers in January 2020.

Data war changes the status quo

While Globacom is ahead of Airtel Nigeria in total subscribers, Airtel Nigeria is second highest in terms of data; right behind MTN Nigeria. Airtel Nigeria’s data subscribers increased to 35.5 million in January from 34.5 million.


Globacom was behind with 29.2 million subscribers , although this is an increase compared to the 28.9 million it recorded in December 2019.
The difference between Airtel and Globacom in the total number of data subscriber is network service for browsing.Globacom users have often complained about poor network service.

In the data war, MTN Nigeria held no punches in its bid to dominate the market. The company continues to lead in both total active subscribers and data subscribers. MTN Nigeria’s subscribers increased to 55 million in January from 54 million in. December.

But while MTN Nigeria, Airtel Nigeria, and Globacom experienced a surge in their subscriber base, 9mobile keep declining. The company’s total data subscriber base dropped from 8.06 million in December to 8.04 million in January. 

Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips:



  1. Anonymous

    April 4, 2020 at 7:30 am

    Airtel declined performance is as a result of poor resolution of Customers complaints. I have a complaint on my Mifi data denial of 5G data issue pending with airtel since March 2020 with no resolution or feedback despite calling several times. Please revisit your timelines for resolution if 18 or 24 hours in your policy is not working again.

    • Anonymous

      April 4, 2020 at 3:27 pm

      Not just that bro. Bad network services too

      • Anonymous

        April 5, 2020 at 10:05 pm

        Airtel services are pathetic mtn is the best always.

  2. Anonymous

    April 4, 2020 at 3:24 pm

    Airtel will still continue to lose customers if their services in all areas is poor. It’s not about marketing but services.
    If you sell sour soup to your customers today, will they come tomorrow?

  3. Anonymous

    April 4, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    I stop subscribing to Airtel because of their rate of data consumption, it like water running of of pipe… You can’t imagine using 4gb between the space of three days compare to Glo that will give u good data with low consumption… So, they just have to work on their network…

  4. Anonymous

    April 4, 2020 at 5:57 pm

    Airtel can consume data like tomorrow no dey.
    You will call the customer care and nothing will be done on it,
    I have to abandon my router mifi because of this 4Gb data within 2 days.

  5. Anonymous

    April 4, 2020 at 10:53 pm

    Airtel sucks.
    One of the biggest problem you have is in your network coverage both in urban and rural settlements. Try and resolve it.

  6. Anonymous

    April 5, 2020 at 2:04 am

    Airtel can consume data
    No bonus

  7. Anonymous

    April 5, 2020 at 6:30 am

    Yes airtel was my favorite but now I truly don’t know which way to follow..9mobile zero..glo gives out huge data but no network maybe am switching on to MTN

    • Anonymous

      April 5, 2020 at 3:17 pm

      My sentiments exactly

  8. Anonymous

    April 5, 2020 at 6:35 am

    Yes airtel was my favorite but now I truly don’t know which way to follow..9mobile zero..glo gives out huge data but no network maybe am switching on to MTN

  9. DonRapheal

    April 5, 2020 at 7:30 am

    Airtel network coverage is bad..that’s why I will leave them ..I can’t make clear call conversations

  10. Anonymous

    April 5, 2020 at 9:07 am

    Nonsense.. Airtel should pack up and go.. They have not even cross and they burn their bridge…. Greedy set of company… Poor and weak ideas and management..
    I dumped my sim card 7months ago…

  11. Emmanuel

    April 5, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    I think Airtel needs to brace up to keep up. Resolving customers’ complaints is a big issue. I stopped recharging my airtel line for the purposes of making calls and sending sms because of deductions I couldn’t get explanation for despite having an active data subscription. After complaining for over a year without any correction, I stopped recharging the line but retains same for data services only.
    Just recently, the data service went off between the evening of 1st April and the morning of 2nd April without any prior notice nor any apology for the lengthy disruption. This is rather rude and contemptuous! Airtel needs to shape up lest it loses more valuable customers.

  12. Light

    April 5, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    Nonsense, Several complaints about data disapearing as soon as you subscribe, imagine buying data 2am and waking up 6am to 0 MB without even using your phone and all updates turned off…then you try to reach their customer care they connect you to useless self service that never solves anything…eventually you never get to talk to an agent. Why worry much when there are other service providers…simply switch…By the way who cares about using celebrities as ambassadors…what has that got to do with airtel giving people value for their money, or data I spent my hard earn money to buy that disappears…or are the celebrities paying
    Anyone’s phone bills🙄

  13. Tman

    April 5, 2020 at 3:38 pm

    Airtel data suck too much

  14. Aitolu

    April 5, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    I’ve been experiencing really bad internet as of late with Airtel… I can’t even play a 20 minute battle royale match in PUBG mobile or call of duty without ping spiking as high and 968ms and 199ms respectively. Sometimes, they even refuse to go down resulting to loss of points. Even YouTube buffers at 360p resolution.
    I’m sick of it. After I exhaust my data on it. I’m changing the network.

  15. Aginam chukwudi

    April 5, 2020 at 5:01 pm

    For my side Airtel don’t have network them don’t care to know. MTN busy putting network every where even inside Bush

  16. Anonymous

    April 6, 2020 at 1:04 am

    They should at least improve their Network service in some areas like ajuwan their Network is really bad over there

  17. Idris

    April 6, 2020 at 1:50 am

    Then they should have the issue fixed after all noting can stay permanent for long

  18. Anonymous

    April 6, 2020 at 8:45 am

    Airtel has poor network coverage, data consumption is outrageous and they don’t even give bonuses. They’ll continue to fall.

  19. Benedict

    April 6, 2020 at 10:16 am

    It’s erroneous is my opinion to conclude that promotional campaigns are the reasons for subscriber gains or losses. I happen to prefer Airtel’s offering. However, I lost. SIM card and when I went to retrieve it, I was told that the Airtel customer centre did not have network. Imagine. I had to buy a new line. Then when that one went missing, I got the same story. I can’t be changing lines like clothes.

    Airtel’s service centres need to fess up to the responsibility. Airtel’s commercials are far superior to Glo’s. As is the speed of data transfer. But poor customer service is poor for business.

  20. Dale

    April 7, 2020 at 11:20 am

    Airtel losing customers? Did the corporate body say it.
    When officials of NCC are denied free airtime and data, they downgrade.
    For most who complained about data consumption by Airtel or MTN or whatever.
    4GB in two days or in a day, Let they admit, the watch porn

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Economy & Politics

Output cut: Nigeria leads in OPEC non-compliance with 50 unsold cargoes of crude

Nigeria and Iraq were reported not to have kept to their commitment to the huge production cut deal that had promised to reduce output by 9.7 million barrels of crude oil per day.



Petroleum Industry Bill to be passed by mid-2020, says Sylva, FG discovers crude oil in north, says there’s more , OPEC, non-OPEC countries to meet as Saudi, Russia price war affects Nigeria’s budget, FG considers fuel price reduction, OPEC deal: Nigeria to generate additional $2.8 billion revenue as FG reacts

As opinions continue to differ on whether OPEC will extend its current oil output cut beyond June, available information has shown that not all members of the oil cartel complied fully with their agreed quotas for the month of May. This is despite the fact that the oil output by OPEC member countries reached its lowest in almost 20 years.

Available data from showed that OPEC members cut their output by 5.91 million barrels per day from the April level, producing 24.77 million barrels per day. This figure also showed a 4.48 million barrel per day of the agreed output cut, thereby representing a 74% compliance level.


Nigeria and Iraq were reported not to have kept to their commitment to the huge production cut deal that had promised to reduce output by 9.7 million barrels of crude oil per day.

Iraq was able to achieve just 38% compliance of its agreed output cut for the month of May, while Nigeria, which achieved a much lower compliance of the agreed output cut, recorded 19% compliance of what was agreed. Saudi Arabia showed the highest compliance, recording 96% of the agreed output cut.

Some have attributed the noncompliance of some members of OPEC to the agreed output cut, to the contractual obligations and commitment to buyers, given the short timeframe between when the agreement for the output cut was made and its implementation.

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Meanwhile oil exports from Angola and Congo remained steady at high prices on Friday, while Nigerian oil fared lower amid huge inventory of unsold cargoes.

Nigeria continues to face some difficulty in the oil market, primarily due to sluggish demand from Europe; it has around 50 unsold cargoes of crude oil yet to be sold for the months of June and July.

Meanwhile, India has become one of the few buyers for the Nigerian oil. Indian oil firms bought about 5-6 million barrels of Nigerian crude oil last week and has bought about 2 million barrels as at Thursday this week.

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Business News

President Muhammadu Buhari reshuffles NNPC’s board of directors

Note that the former board included the late Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari as a member. Stakeholders have since expected the President to reconstitute a new board to take over.



President Muhammadu Buhari to address Nigerians on Monday, receives update and recommendations from PTF

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the reconstitution of the board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) after the expiration of the tenure of the current board.

The newly constituted board members are expected to serve for a tenure of three years, effective immediately. They will take over from the last board, whose 3-year tenure officially ended in 2019. Information about this development is contained in a State House press release that was published on the official twitter handle of the Nigerian Presidency on Saturday morning.


READ MORE: Construction of ICT Parks nudges Nigeria into digital transformation

READ ALSO: CBN and NIPOST open pilot microfinance branches

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The newly constituted NNPC board is made up of six members from each of the geo-political zones in the country. The members include the following individuals:

  • Mallam Mohammed Lawal, representing the North West
  • Dr Tajudeen Umar from North East
  • Adamu Mahmood  Attah from North Central
  • Senator Magnus Abe from the South-South
  • Dr Stephen Dike from the South East, and
  • Chief Pius Akinyelure from the South West geo-political

READ MORE: Boko Haram: A protracted battle yet to be won?  

Of the six members, three are returning members on the board – Chief Pius Akinyelure, Mallam Mohammed Lawal, and Dr Tajudeen Umar from North East.

Note that the constitution of the new board is considered a welcome development, as it balances the representation of the six geo-political zones on the board. The previous constitution of the board was faulted for not being “balanced”.

READ ALSO: Full text of President Muhammadu Buhari’s 58th Independence day broadcast


Note that the former board included the late Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari as a member. Stakeholders have since expected the President to reconstitute a new board to take over.


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Around the World

Zoom’s market valuation hits $50 billion mark, thanks to COVID-19

Zoom’s share price now trades at an eye-watering 55 times estimated revenue compared with an average of 7 times for information technology stocks in the S&P 500, according to information obtained from Bloomberg.




Zoom Video Communications’ shares surged to record highs on Friday, as bullish runs in the last hours of trading helped the company to close with a market capitalization of more than $50 billion. The stock gained about 9.7% to jump to $179.48, thereby giving it a market value of $50.6 billion. 

Note that this is the first time Zoom’s valuation is reaching this high level since it became a quoted company. The tech giant, which owns popular video conferencing software “Zoom”,  has gained more than 160% this year. This is because investors are betting that the surge in Zoom users amid the COVID-19 pandemic, would eventually translate to long-lasting revenue growth.


READ ALSO: How VCs are encouraging terrible business practices by founders

Zoom’s share price now trades at an eye-watering 55 times estimated revenue compared with an average of 7 times for information technology stocks in the S&P 500, according to information obtained from Bloomberg.

Following the significant jump in the company’s valuation, the net worth of its founder and Chief Executive Officer, Eric Yuan, also rose significantly by more than $800 million on Friday. He now has a net worth of $9.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. 

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Meanwhile, in reaction to Zoom’s overnight success, Gennie Gebhart, a researcher with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said she hoped Zoom would change course and offer protected video more widely. It should be recalled that some users of the app had raised security concerns back in April, as Nairametrics reported

READ ALSO: Did Satoshi Nakamoto cause the panic sell-off in Bitcoin market

Meanwhile, Zoom has recruited Alex Stamos, a former chief security officer at Facebook, and other top security experts to help deal with the security issues which led to some top companies banning its use. While discussing efforts being made to deal with the security challenges, Stamos told Reuters:

 “At the same time that Zoom is trying to improve security, they are also significantly upgrading their trust and safety. The CEO is looking at different arguments. The current plan is paid customers plus enterprise accounts where the company knows who they are.” 

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