It appears internet subscribers are starting to discover love again in Nigeria's largest telecoms operator – MTN, as things have gone in a new direction in the telecom industry nowadays.

MTN defeats Airtel for the first time in 5 months, gaining a total of 488,120 internet subscribers in the month under review.

MTN and Airtel gained over 800,000 internet subscribers in the month of October, according to the newly released industry stats by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). The total number of GSM internet subscribers stood at 123,206,103 in October, indicating an increase from the 122,792,291 subscribers recorded in the month of September.

While MTN and Airtel each gained over 400,000 subscribers (MTN – 488,120; Airtel – 420,031), every other telecom lost subscribers including Visafone.

On the other hand, Globacom for the second month straight lost internet subscribers, 370,845, to now stand at 28,995,634. Distraught telecom, 9mobile, doesn’t also show signs of recovering soon as it continued its loss with 122,711 in October to now stand at 8,346,229.

Newly transferred telecom, Visafone, also lost over 800 subscribers to now stand at 82,427.

Of the total 180,386,316 active telephone lines in Nigeria as recorded in August, GSM operators account for 99.85% with 180,118,345 subscribers.

Of the over 180 million subscribers, MTN retains its position as the market leader with 65,870,174 at 36.57%. The race for the second position continues as Airtel interestingly could not retain its position as the second choice for long. Globacom once again tops it with 50,255,796 (27.9%) subscribers as it gained over 1 million subscribers in October, enough to continue to topple Airtel which is at 49,081,899 (27.25%) subscribers.

9mobile seems to be comfortable with its position as it continues to lose subscribers every month, now standing at 14,792,206 (8.21%) after losing over 500,000 subscribers in October. This telecom has continued to witness subscriber losses since 2016 despite a change in ownership in 2018.

Visafone with its 118,270 subscribers also accounts for 0.07% of the GSM share.

The NCC stats for October also show that for the first time since March 2014, 9mobile lost its crown as the most favorable network for porters to Airtel. The new king of porting recorded 11,868 incoming porters about 5,000 more than 9mobile’s 6,410.

Incoming Porting means the number of numbers ported from one telecom into another telecoms network.

However, this is still way bigger than third place MTN with 1,863 incoming porters, while Glo continues to be the least appealing network to port to with only 335 incoming porters.

But as much as Airtel had the highest inward porters, it also had the highest number of users leaving its network for other telecoms with 4,696 subscribers while 9mobile had the least with 1,530 subscribers.

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