Starlink becomes Nigeria’s third largest internet provider

Onwubuke Melvin
Onwubuke Melvin

Starlink has become Nigeria’s third largest Internet Service Provider by subscriber number in the fourth quarter of 2023.

This was disclosed in the latest ISP data released by the Nigerian Communications Commission.

The data shows that, in the fourth quarter of 2024, its active customer base in Nigeria increased to 23,897, and became one of the largest ISPs in Africa.

NCC data showed that Starlink had 11,207 customers at the end of the third quarter of 2023. For the fourth quarter, the number of customers increased by 113% compared to the previous quarter.

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

A total of 245 companies have been authorised as Internet service providers in Nigeria by the end of 2023, according to NCC database.

NCC’s data reveal that the 106 ISPs had a 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.

The number of active internet subscribers was 163.8 million at the end of December 2023 for MTN, Airtel, Globacom, and 9mobile.

According to the NCCS database, so far this year there have been another 7 new ISPs authorised in addition to 252 licences.

Starlink, which entered the Nigerian market in January 2023 to become an ISP for Nigeria, has aroused strong interest among Nigerians who are interested in changing their service provider despite its higher cost than domestic ISPs.

Its spread has also boosted patronage with people in areas with poor internet networks going for Starlink. Several local ISPs operating in Nigeria for several years now have far fewer customers than Starlink has in one year.

Starlink announced last month that it would cut the price of its router by 45% to attract 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 made a formal announcement of its presence in Nigeria last January, Nigerians have been pre-ordering its hardware since 2022. The company, which had originally reported the price of its hardware at $600 and $43 for a subscription, changed to naira as soon as it was officially announced.

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