Business Hilights
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Anxiety as data usage continues downward trend, stands at 90m in March—NCC

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Monday released statistics indicating continued drop in number of Nigerians running away from internet usage in the country in the month of March.

However, experts linked the dropping trend in the use of data to biting influence of recession and growing poor quality of service due to ban on IT equipment from access to forex.

Business Hilights recalls that IT materials formed part of the 41 items restricted in forex access by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) monetary policy.

Within the month under review, subscribers stood at 90,003,101, showing that about 26,081 left the service.

The data indicated that internet users on both Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) networks dropped from 90,029,182 in February to 90,003,101 in March.

Out of the 90,003,101 internet users in March, 89,972,792 were on GSM networks, while 30,309 users were on CDMA networks.

Also, the GSM service providers lost 26,081 internet customers after recording 89,972,792 users in March, as against 89,998,873 it recorded in February.

The CDMA operators had retained 30,309 internet subscribers in March as recorded in February 2017.

The data revealed that MTN had 30,519,351 subscribers browsing the internet on its network in the month under review, an increase of 218,646 internet subscribers in March, after recording 30,300,705 in February.

Also, Globacom has 27,021,200 customers surfing the net on its network in March, revealing an increase of 88,715 users, from the 26,932,485 that surfed the internet on the network in February.

Airtel had 19,468 internet users in February showing a reduction of 44,924 customers from 19,423,760 recorded in March.

The data also showed that Etisalat had 13,008,481 customers who browsed the internet in March, revealing a decrease of 288,518 users from the 13,296,999 users recorded in February.

The NCC data also revealed that the CDMA operators, Multi-Links and Visafone had a joint total of 30,309 internet users on their networks in March, maintaining the same record of February.

According to the data, Visafone has 30,305 customers surfing the internet in March, while Multi-Links has just four internet users.