Service providers in Nigeria’s telecommunications networks lost 1,275,573 internet users in February, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said.
The NCC made the disclosure in its internet subscribers’ data for February. The publication indicated that internet users on both Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) networks dropped from 91,304,755 in January to 90,029,182 in February.
It also showed that, of the 90,029,182 internet users in February, 89,998,873 were on GSM networks, while 30,309 were on CDMA networks.
It equally showed that the GSM service providers lost 1,275,573 internet customers as they recorded 89,998,873 users in February as against 91,274,446 they recorded in January. The CDMA operators retained 30,309 internet subscribers in February as recorded in January.
The data revealed that MTN had 30,300,705 subscribers browsing the internet on its network in the month under review. The data also showed that MTN recorded a drop of 714,700 internet subscribers in February after recording 31,015,405 in January.
According to the data, Globacom had 26,932,485 customers surfing the net on its network in February, revealing a decline of 143,787 users from the 27,076,272 who surfed the internet on the network in January.
Airtel had 19,468,684 internet users in February, reducing by 149,801, the number of customers in its January record of 19,618,485.
The data also showed that Etisalat had 13,296,999 customers who browsed the internet in February. It recorded a decrease of 267,285 users from the 13,564,284 users it recorded in January.
The NCC data revealed that the CDMA operators, Multi-Links and Visafone, had a joint total of 30,309 internet users on their networks in February, maintaining their January record.
According to the data, Visafone had 30,305 customers surfing the internet in February, while Multi-Links had four.
The current economic recession might be one of the reasons why telcos lost over a million internet users in the month under review. Many Nigerians have much less disposable income to afford the extra luxury of data subscription when other pressing needs such as children’s school fees, feeding, house rent and cost of transportation have not been adequately covered.
Another reason why telcos lost subscribers could be the emergence of internet service providers such as Spectranet, Smile and ntel, which provide multi-devise data platforms.
However, the most interesting reason why telcos lost over a million data subscribers is the saturation of the mobile data market. Data is the new way of life and all major telcos want a sizeable share of it. With this, telcos offer competitive plans which they use to woo subscribers. With little regard for capacity, they overload subscribers with ridiculous offers. The result is overstretched facility, which leads to poor service. It is a matter of time, therefore, before subscribers opt out of the once attractive data offers.