THIS-DAY SPECIAL RELEASE
By Emma Okonji
Globacom’s dominance of Nigeria’s internet market in the last one year, resulting from the massive improvement in its network quality, continued in the first three months of 2016.
Latest data for internet subscriptions by the four major telecom operators for the first quarter of the year just released by industry regulator, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), showed that Globacom widened its lead in the sector with 80 per cent of new subscribers.
The report indicated that a total of 1,820,651 new customers subscribed to data services of the four operators – MTN, Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat – from January to March 2016.
Of this figure, Globacom recorded 354,178 new data customers in January, 248,593 in February and 845,583 in March, giving a total of 1,448,354 new internet subscribers to its network during the period. The figure constitutes 80 per cent of the 1,820,651 new data customers in the industry.
The remaining 20 per cent of the new internet subscribers for the quarter was shared by Airtel, which recorded 319,229 new data subscribers, and Etisalat which had an addition of 53,068 new internet users on its network during the period.
On the other hand, MTN suffered a massive decline in its internet subscriber figure during the quarter with over 6.5 million users leaving its network.
The South African operator, which began the quarter with 39,924,737 data customers, ended it with 33,356,595.
In 2015, Globacom soared away as the preferred choice of new internet subscribers. At the end of the last quarter of the year, for instance, Globacom emerged the only network that recorded an increase in its internet subscriber base.
The network had 23,285,454 internet users in October, 24,952,559 in November and 25,082,066 in December, which is an addition of 3.2 million new internet subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2015.
On the other hand, MTN, Airtel and Etisalat all lost subscribers within the period. MTN, which had a total of 41,835,294 internet subscribers at the beginning of October 2015 had 39,924,737 data subscribers at the end of December, a loss of almost 2 million customers.
Similarly, Airtel which began the quarter with 17,730,955 internet customers ended with 16,835,952, a loss of nearly 900,000 subscribers. Etisalat lost 408,282 subscribers.
A review of the data subscriber figures in 2015, further showed that Globacom added a total of 7,251,657 new internet users during the period. Etisalat came second with a total of 5,431,190 new internet customers, while Airtel finished third with 961,548 new data customers in the 12-month period. MTN, on the other hand, recorded a net loss of 1,059,160 data subscribers who left its network during that period.
Besides the improved data services, which followed the network improvement exercise carried out by the company, Globacom has also launched several attractive and user-friendly packages which offer a lot of appeal to data users.