Are Nigerians Shifting From Mobile Internet?
Nigeria's population is growing and more mobile phones are being sold daily and one would have expected that naturally, mobile internet usage would be on the increase, but that is not the case.
A report of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) released on Monday on internet users in Nigeria showed a decrease to 100.6 million in March from 100.9 million recorded in February.
The NCC made this disclosure in its Monthly Internet Subscribers Data for February 2018 on its website on Monday in Abuja.
In the data that showed a decrease of 308,440 subscribers in Nigeria, the NCC said Airtel gained more internet subscribers during the month in review, while MTN, Glo and 9mobile were the big losers.
The breakdown revealed that only Airtel gained the most with 401,209 new internet users increasing its subscription in March to 25,476,319 million from 25,075,110 in February.
It said MTN, however, lost 534,769 internet users in March amounting to 37, 428, 647 as against 37, 963,416 recorded in February,
It said 9mobile also lost 1,346,47 internet users in March decreasing its subscription to 10,997,506 as against 11,132,153 recorded in February.
The data showed in March that Globacom lost 40,233 internet users decreasing its subscription to 26,693,756 from the 26,733,989 recorded in February.
It is not the first time that such a drop in mobile internet usage is being witnessed.
Prior to this time, the decrease has been blamed on a few things.
1. The compulsory sim registration and deactivation. Sim cards that had mobile internet service that were not registered were deactivated resulting in loss of such subscriptions.
2. Economic hardship triggered by the recession that the nation slipped into in 2016 forced many Nigerians to reconsider how much they spend on internet subscription. Some persons had to drop one of the lines and focus on one.
This recent drop, however, may not be unconnected with the service that mobile internet providers offer Nigerians and the competition in terms of the subscription cost, a reason Airtel may have gained the most number of subscribers in the period under review.
Other internet service providers that are not mobile phone based may have also gotten a share of the subscribers looking for a better service.