According to report released by the National Bureau of statistics (NBS), 61.21% of active GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) subscribers have access to the internet in the third quarter of 2016. The report states that a total of 93,554,076 out of 152,836,997 GSM subscribers gain access to the internet with one of the four carriers of Airtel, Etisalat, Globacom and MTN in September 2016.
NBS report a declined in the figure as against second quarter report “This proportion had been increasing throughout 2014 and 2015, but this trend has reversed, and throughout 2016 the proportion has declined fairly consistently. In September 2015 the proportion was 65.39%, and in June 2016 it was 61.79%. This has largely been a result of a decline in MTN internet subscriptions.”
It further state that the quarterly increase in GSM internet subscriptions was lower than that in mobile subscriptions, it was nevertheless positive, at 1.49%, in contrast to the previous quarter which recorded a quarterly decline of 0.11%. This increase was largely driven by Airtel, who recorded an increase of 8.70% in internet subscription relative to the previous quarter, bringing their total number to 18,832,238 in September 2016. The only other GSM provider to record a quarterly increase was Globacom, whose number increased by 0.98% to reach 26,887,929 in September 2016. Etisalat and MTN both recorded declines relative to the previous quarter, of 1.25% and 0.62% respectively. MTN nevertheless remained the provider with the highest number of internet subscriptions, with 32,771,259 or 35.03% of the total, whereas Etisalat accounted for the smallest number, with 15,062,650 internet subscriptions, or 16.10%. Globacom and Airtel accounted for 28.74% and 20.13% of the total respectively.
Year on year, MTN recorded a sharp decline in the number of internet subscribers, of 21.67%, which was largely responsible for the decline in the total number of GSM internet subscriptions. Etisalat also recorded a year on year decline, although at 3.43% this was less severe than for MTN. By contrast, Globacom and Airtel both recorded year on year increases. Globacom recorded a notable increase of 22.80%, and Airtel recorded a smaller increase of 6.21%.