More Nigerians would have left internet on tariff hike as users drop to 93.2m in October
Latest data on activities in the nation’s telecoms sector has painted a bleak future over the government’s drive to deepen internet access.
Only yesterday, statistics released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said the number of internet users in Nigeria’s telecommunications networks had reduced to 93.2 million by October from 93,591,679 in September.
It would be recalled that earlier this month, the regulator had made a front-and-back trials in hiking the data price floor but was met with stiff opposition beginning from the lawmakers who actually gave a strong directive to drop the plot.
But whereas the NCC and GSM majors were fraternizing to bleed internet subscribers via tariff hike, the Internet Services providers (ISPs) began a strategic marketing drive to boost base by dropping rates and raising value added services coming with their respective bundle prices.
According to the NCC’s Monthly Internet Subscribers Data for October, sighted by Business Hilights, drop in subscriber base affected both the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) networks had decreased by 391,679 in October.
The trend of the drop shows that of the 93.2 million internet users in October, 93.1 million were on GSM networks, while 38,309 users were on CDMA networks.
Besides, the GSM service providers lost 378,015 internet customers after recording 93.1 million users in October, as against 93.5 million it recorded in September.
The CDMA operators lost 13,664 internet users, after recording 38,309 in October, against 51,973 recorded in September.
The October figures further revealed that MTN still maintained lion share upon drop as it had 32.4 million subscribers using its data bundles.
However, the South African giant recorded a decrease of 306,480 internet subscribers in October, after recording 32.7 million in September.
Globacom has 27.2 million customers on its data network in October, but with a surprise giving increase of 297,623 users, from the 26.9 million that navigated the internet on the network in September.
Airtel according to the statistics had 18.8 million internet users in October, the same it recorded in September.
Etisalat had 14.7 million customers in October, revealing a decrease of 369,158 users against the 15.1 million users recorded in September.
The NCC data also indicated that the CDMA operators, Multi-Links and Visafone, had a joint total of 38,309 internet users on their networks in October.
The only two surviving CDMA networks in the country recorded a decrease of 13,664 internet subscribers in the month under review from the 51,973 users they recorded in September.
Visafone has a decrease of 13,664 customers surfing the internet in October, as it has 38,305, compared to the 51,969 users in the month of September.
Multi-Links had just four internet users in October, same as the users recorded in September.
The decrease in the use of the internet in October showed that more Nigerians needed to embrace data, as the next revolution.
Some of the experts that reviewed the new statistics say with the trending drop in data usage, government may further frustrate the sub sector if it goes ahead to jerk up the price floor.