Business Hilights

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Recession forcing drop in internet affordability upon steady price

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Indications have emerged that the number of Nigerian subscribers who used to buy credit for internet bundle and access in their hand held phones is continuing on a steady drop since October 2016.

Further findings also indicate that purchase of new android phones remains on a dropping spree, due to recession and the scenario is causing more downturn to internet access.

Some of the subscribers who spoke to Business Hilights link their inability to access internet to serious drop in their disposable income. They reveal that since the economic crisis started late last year, they are only managing to buy smaller denomination credits just to be making calls.

According to them, they will resume bundle purchase as soon as their income gets boost.

Apart from investigations, it would be recalled that the latest internet access data released by the regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) showed that Internet users on Nigeria’s telecommunications networks declined to 92,446,687 in November 2016, and the drop took turn from the downward roll of October 2016.

The drop in internet usage according to experts has no link with the recent disruption on price floor. The NCC had earlier authorized telecoms service providers to hike the price of data, which it has since made u-turn after Senate intervention.

In October, Internet users on both Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) networks decreased by 391,679 in respect to September figures.

Analysis show that whereas NCC revealed recently that active telecoms subscribers is on the increase, the rise is yet to reflect on the numbers of Internet users due to economic hardship.

Internet users on both Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) networks reduced by 759,683.

Out of the 92.4 million Internet users in November, only 30,309 users were on CDMA networks, the same number recorded in October. The rest were hooked to the GSM networks.

Also, the data revealed that MTN had 32,017,779 subscribers, a decrease of 447,000, compared with the 32,464,779 subscribers in October.

Globacom has 27,122,892 customers on its network in November, revealing a decrease of 62,660 users, from the 27,185,552 in October.

But MTN, Airtel gained 311,462 customers to make up 19,143,700 Internet users in November. The telecom firm’s October record was 18,832,238.

Etisalat lost far more customers than other networks, recording 14,132,007 customers who browsed the Internet in November. The figure was 561,485 lower compared to the 14,693,492 users it had in October.

The NCC data revealed that of the CDMA operators, Visafone is king, commanding 30,305 users, the same as in October. Multi-Links has just four Internet users; the same figures recorded for the firm in October.


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