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3.3m new users push internet users’ database to 134 million

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Mobile network operators in the country added a total of 3.3 million internet customers in February, data released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has revealed.

The new additions to the country’s internet users’ database brought the total mobile internet subscription to 131.6 million.

While data subscriptions had been on a steady increase in the last one year as the telcos aggressively push for the deployment of 4G infrastructure, the current COVID-19 outbreak has forced many Nigerians to depend heavily on the internet for several needs. Hence, the mobile internet subscription figure is anticipated to skyrocket in the coming months.

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According to NCC’s data, MTN Nigeria, which is the largest network operator by subscriber number, added 960,814 new internet customers in the month.

The telco, which had the largest subscriber both for voice and internet, had a total of 56.4 million internet customers as of February this year.

Airtel Nigeria came second in terms of internet customers as it added 670, 474 new subscriptions, which brought its customer base to 36.1 million.

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Globacom, though the third in terms of the number of internet customers, emerged as the biggest gainer for the month as it added 1.7 million new internet subscriptions in the month. This brought the number of the telco’s total internet customers to 30.9 million

However, 9mobile maintained its fourth position with a further decline in the number of its internet customers. The telco lost 96,220 customers in February, which reduced its total subscription number to 7.9 million.

While data subscription currently plays second fiddle to voice in terms of revenue for the telcos, it is gradually becoming the main source of income as voice declines. For instance, MTN, which recently released its Q1 2020 financial result disclosed that it recorded a sharp increase in data revenue, while voice revenue only increased marginally.

The telco’s data revenue jumped by 59.2 per cent to N74 billion in Q1 2020, while voice revenue only grew by 7.4 per cent in the same quarter.

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