Nigeria’s telecommunication landscape witnessed another high level of competition in terms of the data war among operators, as subscribers exercised their power of ‘free entry and free exit’ in July 2020 to abandon some network providers for preferred networks.
According to data released by the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) for the month of July 2020, while Nigeria’s largest mobile telecommunication company, MTN, gained 1.69 million data subscribers, Airtel successfully edged out Glo in terms of data subscriber numbers, as the telco added 1.49 million subscribers over the indigenous brand.
In June 2020, media report had it that Glo attracted more subscribers, outshining Airtel (subscriber 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 number chased, met and overtook Airtel’s In June 2020.
For the first time in years, the once second largest telco (subscriber base) lost its position to the indigenous company as the latter increased its base from 34.24 million in May to 37.97 million 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.
MTN leads the pack
Competition among three of Nigeria’s largest data sellers took different turns in July, as Airtel recovered from the drop recorded in June when it took over its second-place position from Glo. It is important to note that in June 2020, about 249,000 data subscribers dumped Airtel for other networks, a development that made Glo take over the second place from the brand.
Meanwhile, in a complete twist of events, at the end of July 2020, the total number of data subscribers on MTN data network rose from 60.60 million in June to 62.29 million in July, followed by Airtel data network, which rose from 37.56 million to 39.05 million. This means the telcos added 1.69 million and 1.49 million data subscribers, respectively.
In its own case, Glo managed to increase its subscriber base by 285,014 from 37.97 million to 38.25 million within the same period.
However, 9mobile has consistently shed its subscriber base for several months. According to the NCC data, 9mobile continues its steady decline, as a total of 1.81 million subscribers dumped the network for others in 2019. Between January and July 2020, 902,574 internet subscribers dumped the GSM company, a drop from 8.04 million in January to 7.14 million subscribers by the end of July 2020.