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Analysts worried on why NCC don’t give data on unique internet users

Over the years and mainly since Nigeria joined the global community of data users, the telecoms regulator, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has been economical with the real unique internet subscribers in its periodic release of industry statistics.
Unique internet users are the real number of Nigerians using internet and not the number of internet access points or SIM cards registered within a given period of time.
Argument of observers is based on the truism that some Nigerians have devices plus multiple SIM cards that can access internet.
For example, some Nigerians or majority of Nigerians have not less than two SIM card in one phone plus another phone that may or may not have up to two SIM cards.
Besides, the same Nigerians may also have data service devices from more than one networks all registered on one name of person.
However, whereas the NCC’s statistical model records per SIM card used for data to calculate internet users to come about its skyrocketing data usership, experts say figures based on such model remain deceptive and would not give the right result when the true usage of internet statistics is being measured in the country. One of the leading stakeholders in telecoms business told Business Hilights in a telephone interview that the real unique internet users in Nigeria may not be more than 40 million out the the over 200 million Nigerians.
Earlier this week, the NCC posted its monthly Internet subscribers data statistics on its website showing that the country gained 3.12 million Internet users in May 2019.
Whereas this may mean that new internet users totaling 3.12 million hit the web for the first time, experts in the sector say the figure may actually mean unique statistics after all as many switches data services networks according to quality and affordability from time to time.
The statistics showed that overall Internet users rose to 122,624,417 in May from the 119,506,430 recorded in April, showing a 2.6 per cent growth in subscribers.
Further review of the NCC statistics showed that MTN gained the most with 2,406,627 new Internet users, increasing its subscription in May to 52,433,020 from 50,026,393 recorded in April.
Besides, 9mobile was the big loser within the period even as new Internet users of 82,637 were added on the Visafone’s 800 MHz spectrum now owned by MTN, thus doubling figures for the South African giant.
Further breakdown indicated that Airtel came second with 595,093 new Internet users in May, increasing its subscription to 31,932,750 in May as against 31,337,657 in April.
Whereas Globacom gained 198,142 new Internet users in May, jumping its subscription to 28,825,533 in May as against 28,627,391 recorded in April, the number of active subscribers to mobile network services in the country rose marginally by 21,491 in May 2019.
Key summary of the new statistics showed that just as MTN added 80,524 new customers; Globacom gained 91,066 new subscribers; Airtel added 207,091 new users to its network; and 9mobile’s subscribers reduced by 356,826.