The Nigerian telecoms market is the most interesting when it comes to competitiveness.
There is a fight to claim leadership in the market. Players are no longer looking at voice as the battlefield- data is it. The fight to lead the mobile data market has gotten so intense that smaller players might be brutalised into oblivion and their business would no longer be profitable.
Just last month, MTN responded to a series of demarketing campaign launched against it by Airtel, the third largest carrier in the market. While the campaign directly targeted at MTN other players in the market also intensified their effort to lay claim to the cheapest data provider.
However, the latest turn of events would make MTN’s proposition a ‘child’s play’. While MTN actually did play catch up in its pricing template to take on the market, Glo, the only indigenous player was the one who crashed the data market. Glo has further taken the matter seriously cutting its data rates to the cheapest across mobile, 4G wireless and other fixed 3G providers. To see how hard the market would have to struggle to match Glo, see below its latest pricing offer.
Glo is doing this because it can. The company is actually under-utilising its Glo 1 submarine cable. Being the only one on the massive data highway. Its submarine cable system is 9,800 km long has bandwidth capacity of 2.5 Tbit/s. Neither MTN, Etisalat nor Airtel can match Glo’s pricing at the moment.
To play catch up fast, MTN in April of this year announced that it has joined a consortium of four telecommunication companies in Africa to build Africa 1 a data submarine cable. It is a 12,000 kilometre long submarine cable system to improve connectivity between Africa, the Middle East and South Central Asia.
Till then we will be seeing Glo dictating how much the market can charge on data. However, it is unclear how low Glo can go and still have a good margin.