Internet usage drops by 6% as Airtel, MTN, Glo lose subscribers

THERE was a decline in the number of Nigerians who made use of internet and carried out voice calls in the first quarter (Q1) of 2021, as against the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2020.

From 154.301 million  in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2020 to 144.949 million active internet data subscribers in the first quarter (Q1) of 2021, there was a 6.06 per cent decline in internet usage.

For voice callers, the number dropped from 204.601 million in Q4 of 2020 to 192.413 million subscribers in Q1 of 2021, representing a 5.96 per cent decrease in voice subscriptions.

No service provider was spared in the decline.

According to the data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Tuesday, the decline in voice calls spread across the major telecom service providers in the country.

GLO and MTN experienced a decline in internet service subscriptions by 3.24 per cent and 5.79 per cent respectively.

Airtel and 9MOBILE’s rate of internet subscriptions dropped by 8.50 per cent and 9.85 per cent respectively.

There was, however, a 13.86 per cent decrease in internet usage for the service providers designation as ‘others.’

A total of nine million users did not make use of the internet actively in Q1 of 2021, according to the NBS.

Also, 12 million voice subscribers were inactive in Q1 of 2021

GLO and MTN lost active voice subscribers by 3.50 per cent and 5.99 per cent respectively. On the other hand,  9MOBILE lost subscribers by a margin of 1.01 per cent.



    Airtel saw a 9.45 per cent decline in its voice subscribers.

    Lagos State has the highest number of active internet and voice users, with 23 million voice subscribers and 17 million internet subscribers.

    This is followed by Ogun State, with 10 million voice and 8 million internet subscribers. Kano State has 12 million voice and 8 million data users.

    According to the NBS report, MTN has the highest share of subscriptions, followed by GLO, AIRTEL and other service providers.


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