Nigerians Spend a Whooping N197bn Monthly On Internet Data Alone

Telecoms subscribers in Nigeria spend over N197 billion on internet data every month, Daily Trust’s analysis of mobile users’ average data usage per month has shown.

The big four GSM operators - MTN, Glo, Airtel and 9mobile - and other smaller mobile operators have a total active subscribers base of 149.3 million, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The latest Monthly Subscriber/Operator Data released by the regulator last month showed that MTN had 58,121,427 users, and Glo 37,270,100 customers, Airtel 34,336,802 while 9mobile has 19,621,806 users. The remaining figures were shared between the other smaller operators.

But only 92m of the 149.5m subscribers are active internet users, and they depend on data provided by the telcos to access the world-wide-web and hook on to the social media, information on the NCC’s website showed.

As at June, MTN had 31.7m internet users, Glo 27.2m, Airtel 20.2m while 9mobile had 12.6m, and the smaller operators shared the remaining figures

Findings by Daily Trust from the four GSM operators revealed conservative estimates of category of data users and how much they spent on data monthly.

About 70% of internet users or 64m use up to N1000 data monthly each, raising the operators’ revenue base by N64bn.

Also, about 15% or 13.8m users, mostly small business owners and middle class people, each purchase an average of N3000 data monthly, contributing N41.1bn every month to the telcos’ coffers.

Similarly, 10% of the internet subscribers or 9.15m use N5000 each every month, growing the operators’ revenue by N45.6bn.

About 5% of the internet customers or 4.6m buy N10,000 data each, increasing the GSM and mobile internet companies’ revenue by N46bn, according to findings made by our reporter.

Over N2.3 trillion is garnered through data alone by the telcos every year, according to the monthly data revenue figures.

However, a study backed by Mozilla and carried out by Research ICT Africa on financial reality of internet usage in Nigeria said higher income users pay between $3.17 and $9.52 per month, whereas low income users pay as low as US7 cents per month.

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has repeatedly categorised Nigerian telecom industry among one of the fastest growing in the world.

Its latest ranking placed the percentage of Nigerians with internet users at 11.40%, while about 50% individuals in the country are now able to access the internet.

The ITU’s Secretary General Mr Houlin Zhao said Nigeria was the toast of telecom investors because the country’s telecom industry continued to record quantum growth every quarter.

But the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has recently cried out, saying the activities of Over The Top (OTT) operators were seriously eating into their voice and data revenue.

OTTs are firms like Facebook, WhatsApp and other social media networks.

Engr Gbenga Adebayo, ALTON chairman, said if NCC did not act fast to salvage the Nigerian telcos from the danger posed to their operations by OTT, the telecom industry may witness a decline in fortunes.
Source: dailytrust


  1. This is how greedy these networks are. See the money they are making, and when a cheat leaks they will go and block it.

  2. Thanks for sharing this info with us here.

    Based on all these available records, why were they planning hiking the cost of their services?

    Another issue is, have they been able to fulfill their social responsibilities to the host community?

  3. jesu... See money o.
    Data subscription is really consuming a whole lot of money

  4. this is very weird o......197billion............
    anyway thanks fr sharing it with us

  5. but wizy...will it affect any thing ...cos I heard telecom wants to increase data plans price

    1. something like that, but no only that they want to increase the charging rates

  6. Dial *559 *40# and collect #1000 is for MTN only. For old line #2,500 instead. Happy compensation From MTN...... It is real. PLS DO IT NOW BEFORE THEY STOP. I GOT IT. UNBELIEVABLE!

    1. You are getting it twisted my bro. The said compensation airtime is only given to you upon updating your SIM details.
      If you are in doubt, kindly dial ×559*4# and then tell us if the airtime will be reflected.

      Please don't post misleading information here next time.

  7. Mtn always at the top? They always cheated us deduct or money for no thing why

  8. I think the all the telecommunication network re mad

    any small cheat they will block it...and day think we re happy

  9. especially mtn ..they re making me feel annoyed.. BT m still enjoying their double data
    3gb fr 1k

  10. @okafor the 1000 simply indicate that ur sim need to be registered
    .it was not registered very day said u should re-register and get 1000

  11. Y naw why are telecom operator blocking cheat after making this huge amount of money

  12. They are even complaining to increase their data and voice price

  13. @ogunsola Michael I just don't know wats happening.. anyway if they want to increase.. let them do DAT..cos they re cheaters...

  14. as fr me I think to get a WiFi is the best option

  15. Nigerians are spending much money on data and that is why this telecommunications company are making much profit.

  16. As for me, I be soji guy, I no dey spend more than 200 naira on data per moth (thanks to wizzy) I hail o