Although competition in the Nigerian telecommunication space has always been stiff, latest data seen by Nairametrics indicated that the competition is getting stiffer.
Telecommunications operators, especially in the data section, are giving each other a hot chase. Gone are the days when the biggest telecommunication firm automatically retains the top position. Recently, companies that were once described as fringe players are catching up really fast in terms of attracting new subscribers every month.
For instance, in May 2020, Glo took other operators by surprise, dwarfing them to lead the chart as the telco with the highest number of subscribers in a month when it gained 8.302 million data subscribers. The indigenous telco grew from 28.934 million in December 2019 to 37.236 million by the end of May 2020, while MTN gained 4.75 million data subscribers. Airtel, which used to be the second-highest in subscriber growth after MTN, recorded 2.795 million. Unfortunately, 9mobile lost 812,827 subscribers within the same period.
MTN regains top position
According to data released by the Nigerian Communication Commission for the period ending June 2020, Nigeria’s largest mobile telecommunication company, MTN, gained 1.74 million data subscribers against the 882,458 it recorded in May 2020.
Also, at the end of June 2020, the total number of data subscribers on MTN data network rose to 60.60 million from the 58.86 million it recorded in May. This means the telco added 1.74 million data subscribers.
Glo attracted more subscribers, outshining Airtel (subscribers base) for the first time in years
Despite a challenging year for Globacom in terms of its data subscriber base, the telco took industry watchers by surprise, as its subscriber base chased, met and overtook Airtel’s In June 2020.
For the first time in years, the once second largest telco (subscribers base) lost its position to the indigenous company as the latter increased its base from 34.24 million in May to 37.97 by the end of June 2020. The Indian-owned telco only managed to increase its base from 37.32 million to 37.57 million within the same period.
On the other hand, 9mobile ended the month without attracting any data subscriber. According to the NCC data, 9mobile continues its steady decline, as a total of 16,000 subscribers dumped the network for others when it fell from 7.26 million subscribers to 7.10 million within the same period.
In terms of market share, Glo is now trailing behind MTN, as the latter expanded its overall market share in June.
At the end of June 2020, MTN’s total data market share rose further to 60.60 million subscribers. On the other hand, Glo had 37.97 million, followed by Airtel’s 37.57 million and 9mobile’s 7.10 million.
Internet remains slow in Nigeria despite the advent of 4G network
The advent of 4G/LTE in the global telecom industry was accompanied by the expectation of fast internet speed. The 4G is the fourth generation of wireless mobile telecommunications technology, succeeding 3G. Potential and current applications include amended mobile web access, IP telephony, gaming services, high-definition mobile TV, video conferencing, and 3D television.
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 frustrate 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.