Data Story · Random talk

Porting Dilemma.

I own just one phone and I use only one Mobile Network. Recently, I realized that my internet subscription which usually lasts for a month, now barely lasts for 2 weeks. The idea of getting a new phone and trying out a different Network provider or porting to another network became increasingly necessary. I tried to find out the rates per kilobyte or megabyte for other networks for comparison and was shocked that there was no information concerning that anywhere on their sites. The only information available was the amount of data, duration, and price. So, I called up a few friends and asked what their internet subscription experience was like and I got mixed responses which left me confused.

I decided to look into internet subscriptions and porting activities for the different network providers and carry out some research before I finally sing, ” I don port o”. Here are my findings:

From 2013 – 2016, Etisalat (please permit me to still call them that, I haven’t gotten used to the new name yet) continued to be the biggest net beneficiary of incoming porting activities and MTN was the network to lose the most, sustaining a net loss of over 83,000 subscribers in 2016.  See visualization below (zoom in to view more clearly).


I also noticed that over the period 2013 – 2016, Etisalat had the lowest number of customers porting from the network, followed by Globacom and then Airtel. MTN had the highest number of its subscribers leaving within this period. See viz below.


I went further to examine the number of GSM subscribers and internet subscriptions for each Network Provider. I discovered that MTN had the most GSM subscriptions, with a total of over 700 million subscribers by the end of 2016, followed by Globacom with 430,992,057 subscribers. Airtel ranked third with over 390 million subscribers, whilst Etisalat had the lowest number of subscribers. Meanwhile, for MTN, the percentage of internet subscriptions to GSM subscribers decreased over the 2014 – 2016 period while for Etisalat it increased steadily over the same period. I would also like to point out that in 2016, Globacom ranked highest (74%) for the internet subscriptions to GSM subscribers. The figure below shows this and more.

SRT-GSMSo, how does this help me?

Now, I know the porting behaviour of most Nigerians and I also have an idea of the internet subscriptions to GSM subscribers percentages for the mobile networks. Equipped with this information, together with the information gathered from my friends, I was able to make trade-offs and decide on what worked best for me.

Does any of this findings conform with your pre-conceived notions?


2 thoughts on “Porting Dilemma.

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