Only 34,471,520 customers out of the 114.172 million active subscribers on the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) networks use data. The Internet Subscriber Data released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on its website showed that 79,700,920 subscribers were yet to use data on the Internet as at the first quarter of 2013.
A breakdown of the figure shows that MTN Nigeria is in the lead with a total of 22,725,089 subscribes using data on the Internet. MTN had 19,732,901 Internet users in the last quarter of 2012 and added 2,992,188 users on its internet usage in the first quarter of 2013.
Airtel Nigeria trails MTN with a distant 6,154,572 subscribers using the Internet against the 5,948,190 internet users recorded in December 2012. Etisalat Nigeria and Globacom comes in the third and fourth places with a total of 4,932,188 (Airtel Nigeria) and a dismal 659,671 for Globacom. It was reported that Globacom actually lost a total of 143,060 data users from its 802,731 users recorded in the last quarter of 2012. According to NAN, The low and reducing number of Internet users on the Globacom network may be an indication that the company’s data services were not reliable.
The Internet Subscriber data showed that many GSM subscribers in Nigeria still fully depends on voice services although data usage is envisaged to be the next revolution in the Nigerian telecommunications arena.