Home Internet Musk’s Starlink becomes third largest internet provider in Nigeria in Q4 2023

Musk’s Starlink becomes third largest internet provider in Nigeria in Q4 2023

Elon Musk’s internet company, Starlink, has emerged as Nigeria’s third largest Internet Service Provider (ISP) by subscriber number in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2023.

This was revealed in the latest ISP data released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

According to the data, the company’s active customers in Nigeria increased to 23,897 in Q4 of 2024 to become one of the leading ISPs in the country.

As of Q3 2023, NCC’s data showed that Starlink had 11,207 customers. The Q4 figure represents a 113% increase in customers quarter on quarter.

Spectranet, FiberOne maintain lead

Meanwhile, one of the oldest ISPs in Nigeria, Spectranet, maintained the top spot in the market with 113,869 active customers. FiberOne came second with 27,000 active users at the end of 2023.

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According to NCC’s database, there were a total of a total of 245 companies licensed as ISPs in Nigeria as of 2023 year-end. However, going by the customer data just released, only 106 of the ISPs had active customers as of Q4 2023.

NCC’s data shows that the 106 ISPs had cumulative 262,206 active customers during the period under review. However, the figure is still quite low when compared with internet customers of the four mobile network operators in the country.

As of December 2023, MTN, Airtel, Globacom, and 9mobile had 163.8 million active internet subscriptions.

The NCC’s database shows that an additional seven new ISPs have been licensed so far this year, bringing the total number of licensed ISPs to 252.

What you should know

Despite its higher costs compared with local ISPs, Starlink, which announced its presence in Nigeria in January 2023, had sparked high interest among Nigerians who were eager to change their service providers.

The ubiquitous status of its satellite service also encourages people in areas with poor internet networks to go for Starlink.  Many local ISPs that have been in operation in Nigeria for several years are currently having far less than the number of customers  Starlink has garnered in one year.

Last month, Starlink announced a 45% price slash on its router to win more Nigerian customers. The Starlink internet router, which was sold for N800,000 before that time, was slashed to N440,000 in April 2024. However, the monthly subscription for the internet service remains unchanged at N38,000 per month.

Although Starlink officially announced its presence in Nigeria in January last year, Nigerians had been pre-ordering its hardware since 2022. The company, which initially quoted its prices in dollars at $600 for the hardware and $43 for the subscription, changed to naira upon its official announcement.



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