The data war between the network providers took a dramatic turn as all telecommunications company lost subscribers in the month of March, with the total data subscriber base of the industry declining.
Within 30-days, the number of Nigerian data subscribers fell from 150.89 million recorded in February to 148.13 million subscribers. MTN Nigeria, Airtel Nigeria, Globacom and 9mobile all contributed to the slump.
In an industry report released by the Nigerian Communications Commission, MTN lost the highest rate of subscribers, as 1.14 million dumped the y’ello network in March. This reduced the number of its data base to 62.84 million recorded in February to 63.98 million at the end of last month.
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Airtel came next with the second highest lost, after N1.07 million subscribers left the network in 30-days. According to the industry report, data subscribers dropped to 38.95 million in March from 40.03 million.
Globacom was not spared in the industry loss as 294,734 company’s customers stopped using the data of the telco. This dwindled the number of Glo data users, which fell from 39.99 million of February, to 39.70 million at the end of third quarter.
9mobile experienced the lowest loss in subscriber base, which ended last month with 6.63 million, below the 6.88 million the data provider reported for a month before the period under review. This translate into a loss of 247,105, the industry report showed.
Nigerian network providers have been losing subscribers consecutively for more than three months. The loss started in the fourth quarter of last year, and MTN, Airtel, Glo and 9mobile seem to be unable to stop the loss.
Subscribers have been dumping these telcos due to expensive data charges, poor service and fast depletion of data. For MTN and Airtel which are recognised to have stronger network, their data fee is expensive and depletion rate is high.
Glo and 9mobile are considered to have below par network service, but with low depletion, at an affordable price. Subscribers hovering around for a telco that provides high quality network at a low cost, but without high depletion rate.