Starlink emerges Nigeria’s third largest internet service provider

Starlink has emerged as Nigeria’s third largest Internet Service Provider (ISP) by subscriber number in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2023, according to 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 the fourth quarter of 2024 to become one of the leading ISPs in the country.

As of the third quarter of 2023, NCC’s data showed that Starlink had 11,207 customers. The fourth quarter figure represents a 113 percent increase in customers quarter on quarter.

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.

According to NCC’s database, there were 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 the fourth quarter of 2023.

NCC’s data shows 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.

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.

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.