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Over 3.52m Nigerian data subscribers dump MTN, Airtel, as Glo closes in on foreign firm



MTN and Airtel were the biggest losers of the second quarter of 2021, as both network providers lost a combined 3.52 million data subscribers between April to June.

Industry review for second quarter

During the period under review, the total industry’s active data subscriber base dropped by 3.3 percent, representing a loss of 4.76 million users, according to Ripples Nigeria analysis of the industry’s performance in Q2 2021.

Nigeria’s telecommunications industry is dominated by four major telcos, MTN, Globacom, Airtel and 9mobile. The total internet service subscriber base from the firms dipped for three months consecutively, ending Q2 with 139.81 million, against the 144.58 it ended Q1 with – and 1.5 percent year-on-year.

Nigerian telecoms’ data users breakdown performance for Q2 2021

MTN Nigeria

MTN Nigeria was the highest loser during the second quarter of 2021, losing 1.98 million in total, as its subscriber base declined for three months consecutive, to end June with 59.59 million users, below the 61.57 million it started April with, according to NCC data.

In April, MTN lost its largest during the period under review, as 1.12 million customers stopped using the network’s service, in May, the loss dropped to 243,203 subscribers, and 607,511 was wiped off in June.

Airtel Nigeria

Airtel Nigeria was next on the losers table, as 1.54 million users abandoned the Bharti Airtel subsidiary between April to June this year, dragging the firm further away from its closest rival Globacom.

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Airtel had ended June with 36.23 million data subscribers, which fell from 37.77 million, which it started April with, as 115,462 internet users were lost in the former, and 751,457 gained in the latter – however, it lost 906,669 in May.


The Wale Adenuga-owned company lost 932,250 data subscribers in the three months of the second quarter of this year, as dropping from April’s opener of 38.80 million users to 37.87 million customers at the end of June.

Globacom had lost 1.09 million data users in April, and lost 118,730 subscribers the next month before gaining 283,766 customers in June this year.


The company recorded the lowest loss based on the size of its total subscriber, which ended at 6.10 million in June, failing to surpass the 6.14 million it started Q2 with.

During the period under review, 9mobile lost a total of 310,767 subscribers within the three months period, as April, May and June accounted for 195,241, 6,594, 108,932 data users losses respectively.

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