- It's not a good season for MTN Nigeria as half a million subscribers of the telecommunications company left the network
- The Y'ello network is losing its market share to rivals, Airtel Africa and Globacom, both of which gained half of what MTN Nigeria lost
- 9mobile also joined MTN Nigeria on the losers table, but the latter has been losing subscribers since last year, without gaining
MTN Nigeria and 9mobile are the losers of the ongoing data war among Nigerian telecommunications companies as Airtel and Glo gained against them in June.
The four major network providers have been on a losing streak since January, but Glo and Airtel broke their jinx by gaining a combined 399,228 subscribers, but not enough to save the industry's base from dwindling.
The loss by MTN Nigeria and 9mobile, which is totalled 716,443 subscribers, reduced the data market base to 139.81 million users in June, against the 140.13 million of May.
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MTN losing its market dominance as 9mobile diminishes
MTN is the market leader of the Nigerian telecommunications industry, as it accounts for more subscribers than the remaining data service providers.
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But in June, its grip on the telco market loosened a bit after 607,511 data users were wiped off the subscriber base of the Y'ello network.
This cut MTN Nigeria's subscribers to 59.59 million in June, against the 60.20 million users it accounted for in the preceding month of the period under review.
The other loser is 9mobile, the lowest shareholder of the data market. It needed June with 6.10 million subscribers, dropping from the 6.21 million it had in May.
9mobile lost 108,932 subscribers within a space of one month. The company blamed the ban on the registration of new sim for the losses incurred in its market.
Competition between Glo and Airtel gets intense
Since Globacom over took Airtel in February 2021 as the second-largest market shareholder, competition between both companies have been at the edge of a cliff.
They have both been losing and gaining at the same time, but Glo continues to stay ahead as it added 283,766 data users to its subscriber base during the period under review.
In June, Globacom's subscriber base hit 37.87 million, rising above the 37.59 million it accounted for at the end of the month of May this year.
It cemented its spot above Airtel, whose subscriber base grew from May's 36.12 million users to 36.23 million the next month, after gaining extra 115,462 customers.
What are the companies saying?
Previously, the network providers had blamed the Nigerian Communications Commission and its ban on new sim registration for the dwindling subscriber base.
In response to the loss, 9mobile's Public Relations Unit, Regulatory & Corporate Affairs, said:
"As a leading customer-focused telecoms brand, we will continue to prioritize service offerings that maximize value for our customers while strengthening our network capabilities in line with our strategic focus on Quality of Service, innovation, and superior customer experience."
Airtel, which is one of the gainers, stated the following:
"With the easing of these restrictions in late April we have since been able to gradually increase locations for activations in line with regulatory compliance across Nigeria, and we have begun adding new customers."
MTN didn't respond to enquiry sent to it.
Elon Musk coming to Nigeria to compete against them
The world's richest man, Elon Musk, has set his sight on Nigerian market as the network company he owns, Starlink, plans to debut in the country.
Starlink representatives have come to Nigeria to meet with the Nigerian Communications Commission, to find out what it needs to do to operate in Nigeria.
The telecommunications industry regulator listened to Starlink's operation plan amid license discussion.