1. Home
  2. Tech
  3. News
  4. Nigeria: ‘Big Four’ telcos battle for more mobile data clicks

Nigeria: ‘Big Four’ telcos battle for more mobile data clicks

Nigeria: ‘Big Four’ telcos battle for more mobile data clicks
0

 

 

AsNigeria’s Big Four battle for mobile data users, Success Kafoi of Technology Times reviews shifting sales from voice minutes to Internet packages


The race among the Big Four mobile phone companies for more mobile Internet users has already kicked off with shifting marketing away from voice minutes to competitive data package offerings.

[quote font=”georgia” font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” align=”left” arrow=”yes”]With the withdrawal of the price restriction, telecommunications industry now has the permission of NCC, the telecoms industry regulator, to charge subscribers lower than the set lowest industry prices. Before then, there was a limit to how low Internet Service Providers(ISP) could go in fixing their prices.[/quote]MTN Nigeria, Glo Mobile, Airtel Nigeria and Etisalat Nigeria, the four biggest mobile phone companies in the country are now dangling tempting offers of mobile data service that make many market watchers wonder whether this will last or  just stints of promotion to gain a few more subscribers.

More questions then came up. What would be the impact of this drop on the telecoms companies’ bottom line? If these companies still make as much revenue to keep them in business and maintain same and better service quality standards, why did it take them this long before making data plans this affordable?

It may not be out of place to partly attribute the removal of data floor price by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the telecoms industry regulator, as one reason for the falling data plan price in the country.

But the reality is that the falling data prices has more to do with the fight for bigger share of the subscribers’ wallets.

Blackberry has gained popularity in Nigeria towards late 2012 in terms of smartphone data plans. This was because Blackberry data plans were cheap, as most users could hardly exhaust their data before the expiry date of the data plan.

smartphone
Affordable smartphone is also driving force for mobile data growth: Mobile phones on display at Ikeja Computer Village in Lagos

But the terrain changed when other cheaper Android smartphones like Tecno and more affordable brands flooded the Nigerian mobile market. For many, these relatively smartphones could do just what they wanted as some of these phones were not only offering lower price points, but also packed longer-lasting batteries. However, the high cost of subscription became a major problem for them, as Android apps consume much more data than good old BlackBerry apps did.

However, in October 2015, NCC withdrew the data floor price for operators in the telecoms industry. The regulator said that the step was taken to ensure sustainability, growth and development of the Nigerian data market segment. The so-called “floor price” is a government or group-imposed price control or the limit a price can be charged for a product to check unhealthy rivalry among players.

With the withdrawal of the price restriction, telecommunications industry now has the permission of NCC, the telecoms industry regulator, to charge subscribers lower than the set lowest industry prices. Before then, there was a limit to how low Internet Service Providers(ISP) could go in fixing their prices.

This was to trigger the beginning of the war on data plan prices by operators. The impact then was not felt as much as we feel it today. Airtel first made the drop in data bundle price, then Glo followed. Later on Etisalat joined. But MTN took a long time before dropping the price. However the case, the period of expensive data plans appear to be history in Nigeria.

A mobile phone user seen at Tech Plus 2016
A mobile phone user seen at Tech Plus 2016

Beyond the relaxed regulatory restriction that saw data floor price removal, one key factor is the fact that MTN, the largest mobile phone company by subscriber numbers, has lost an appreciable number of customers and is on the fight to regain its status as market leader in the data space.

In the first half of 2016, MTN Group, owners of MTN Nigeria lost 6.6 million subscribers in its business units in Nigeria, Uganda and Cameroon to comply with mandatory phone subscriber registration rules. This greatly affected the South African MTN Group, especially in Nigeria. In the local market, MTN Nigeria took a hit with a big drop in its subscriber figure from 61,252,387 in September 2015, to 57, 045,721 at the end of March 2016 (1Q 2016), indicating a loss of 4,206,666 active subscribers.

Unrelenting, MTN has started a pilot operation of Fourth Generation Long Term Evolution (4G LTE) network following the acquisition of Visafone to deliver broadband services to Internet users in the country. It was a move seen as a game changer in the Nigerian market and a move that also underscored the decision of the market leader, MTN Nigeria, to wage a new data war.

The table below shows the new price tag of data plans of the four major mobile telephone companies in Nigeria

MTN Nigeria

Internet Plan Price (N) Bundle Duration How to subscribe
Daily plan 100 30 MB 24 hours Text 104 to 131
200 100 MB 24 hours Text 113 to 131
Weekly Plan 500 750 MB 7 days Text 106 to 131
Monthly plan 1000 1.5 GB 30 days Text 106 to 131
2000 3.5 GB 30 days Text 110 to 131
5000 10 GB 30 days Text 116 to 131
10000 22 GB 30 days Text 117 to 131
2 Months plan 20,000 50 GB 60 days Text 118 to 131
Quarterly Plan 50,000 85 GB 90 days Text 133 to 131

 

Glo

Plan Name Price (N) Data Volume Validity SMS to 127 USSD Code
Daily plans 50 30MB 1 Day 14 *127*14#
100 100MB 1 Day 51 *127*51#
200 200MB 3 Days 56 *127*56#
Weekly plans 500 1 GB 10 days 57 *127*57#
Monthly plans 1,000 2GB 30 Days 53 *127*53#
2,000 6GB 30 Days 55 *127*55#
2,500 10GB 30 Days 58 *127*58#
3,000 12GB 30 Days 54 *127*54#
4,000 18GB 30 Days 59 *127*59#
5,000 24GB 30 Days 11 *127*2#
8,000 48GB 30 Days 12 *127*1#
15,000 60GB 30 Days 16 *127*12#
18,000 90GB 30 Days 17 *127*13#

Airtel Nigeria

Plan Name Price Data Bundle Validity USSD Code
Daily Plan 100 30 MB 1 day *410#
Easy Plan 500 750MB 14 days *418#
Android 1 1000 1.5 GB 30 days *496#
Android 2 2000 3 GB 30 days *437#
Android 2.5 2500 5 GB 30 days *437*1#
Android 3.5 3500 7 GB 30 days *438#

Etisalat Nigeria

plans price(N) USSD codes SMS to 229 Validity
1.5GB 1,000 *229*2*7# AND1 30 days
3.5GB 2,000 *229*2*8# AND2 30 days
6.5GB 3,500 *229*2*9# AND3 30 days
16GB 8,000 *229*2*5# MB6 30 days
22GB 10,000 *229*4*1# SM1 30 days
Daily 10MB 50 *229*3*8# MI3 24 hours
Daily 50MB 100 *229*3*1# MI1 24 hours
200MB 200 *229*2*10# LCD 7 days
500MB 500 *229*2*12# LCD2 30 days
quaterly plan (30GB) 27,500 *229*5*1# 4M 90 days
bi-annual plan (60GB) 55,000 *229*5*2# 6M 120 days
100GB Plan 84,992 *229*4*5# SM5 30 days
annual plan (120GB) 110,000 *229*5*3# 12M 365 days
1GB (weekend plan) 500 *5995*2# friday 11:59pm – sunday 11:59pm

 

Mobile Data: What can N2000 buy you?

The chart below shows the different data bundles for the N2000 monthly plans of MTN Nigeria, Glo, Airtel Nigeria and Etisalat Nigeria.

New Picture

Success Kafoi Journalist at Technology Times Media. Mobile: 08077671673 email: success.kafoi@technologytimes.ng

We want to hear from you...