Data War: MTN, Airtel, Glo and 9mobile Lose Over 1.27million Data Subscribers

Data War: MTN, Airtel, Glo and 9mobile Lose Over 1.27million Data Subscribers

  • Network providers in Nigeria had a bloody month of May, as the telecommunications companies lost over 1.27 million subscribers in one month
  • Airtel lost the most subscribers compared to its market rivals, while the largest industry shareholder, MTN, came next with over 200,000 losses
  • The total number of data subscribers in Nigeria's data market dropped by 0.90% during the period under review as the telcos struggled to attract users

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The data war among telecommunications companies in Nigeria continued in the month of May, as the industry's total subscribers dwindled by 0.90%.

The faceoff between MTN Nigeria, Glo, Airtel Nigeria and 9mobile led to a loss of 1.27 million subscribers as customers dumped the telcos in search of better data deals.

Analysis of industry report showed that no network gained between April and May, as they all lost a part of their market share, with Airtel being the biggest loser, while 9mobile recorded the lowest.

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Data War: MTN, Airtel, Glo and 9mobile Loses Over 1.27million Data Subscribers
Logo illustration of MTN Nigeria, Airtel, Globacom and 9mobile. Photo: MTN Nigeria, Airtel Nigeria, Glo World, 9mobileng
Source: Facebook

MTN ended the month as the marker leader, but its grip on the data market loosened, while Glo retained its second market share ahead of its closest rival, Airtel.

What's behind the constant losses?

Data cost in Africa is the highest in the world, and Nigeria sits on number 43 on the global ranking. This makes subscribers in the country continually roaming the industry for affordability.

High cost of browsing and quality service is two factors that subscribers are battling with, and one of the industry player, MTN, had defended itself in the past stating that better service depletes data faster.

How the telecoms performed in May

The end of May saw Airtel lose 906,669 from its subscriber base which dropped to 36.12 million in one month, against the 37.02 million it ended April with.

MTN was the second highest loser of the month under review, as 243,203 subscribers dumped the network in May, cutting its total data users to 60.20 million from April's 60.44 million.

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Glo's data subscribers also dwindled in the month of May, as 118,730 subscribers left the telco, reducing Globacom's customer base from 37.71 million in April to 37.59 million a month after.

9mobile, which has the smallest data users in the telecoms market, recorded the lowest loss in the industry for the month of May as its data subscriber base dropped to 6.21 million from April's 6.22 million - shedding 6,594 subscribers.

Starlink makes progress to launch in Nigeria, globally

In related news, had previously reported that Elon Musk's company, Starlink, a network provider, has launched over 1,500 satellites.

The launch is meant to boost the operation of Starlink and improve its internet service which will be provided in Nigeria and 5% of the world’s population.

About $5 billion to $10 billion was spent on the satellite, but the operation will still gulp between $20 billion or $30 billion to operate at optimal in the market.


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