Industry statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission showed that Globacom displaced Airtel, which now owns a 25 per cent market share, in November 2018.
However, MTN Nigeria remains the biggest network provider in the country with 40 per cent market share while the fourth mobile network operator, 9mobile, holds nine per cent market share.
As of November 2018, Globacom has 154,034 more subscribers than Airtel.
There has been a struggle between the two major network operators in the country, to clinch and sustain the position of the second biggest telco in Nigeria.
In the past 11 months, analysis of the data obtained from the NCC indicated that Airtel was the second largest telecoms service provider for five months intermittently.
The five months are January, February, August, September and October in 2018, according to the NCC data.
Globacom also held the position as the second largest network provider by market share for six consecutive months this year.
According to the NCC subscriber data, the months are March, April, May, June, July and November.
Analysts said the two telecoms operators were competing to retain their existing subscribers and attract new ones to their networks by coming up with different tariff plans and promo offers.
In July this year, Airtel Nigeria introduced a 100 per cent bonus to new customers on any data bundle purchased and eight times the value of any recharge.
Under the new offer, new customers get 100 per cent bonus on every data bundle of N100 and above, and also get eight times bonus on any recharge, which will be split along the main account, 100 per cent; voice, 250 per cent; data, 250 per cent; social, 100 per cent and family and friends, 100 per cent.
In the following month, Globacom also launched ‘Oga SIM’ targeted at new subscribers and offering 125 per cent bonus to new data subscribers and existing subscribers, who have not used their data services in the last three months on the Glo network.
Also in the same month, Globacom offered tariff reduction on international calls to over 200 countries for subscribers on its network by 85 per cent.
A former President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, Mr Lanre Ajayi, recently said the strategies that would increase the market share of the mobile network operators include improved quality of service, clarity in tariff and offers, and ease of accessing service.
He said, “Clarity of pricing is also important. Your pricing may be cheap but may not be clear. There may be complexity around it. When there are free offers that are not clear, people get confused. It is not just a reduction in tariff that is important, clarity is equally important.
“Also, if the pricing is cheap and people cannot access the service on the network, they will move to another one. Availability of service is also key. There are some networks without coverage in certain areas of the country. Once people move to certain places, their network is not available. You can be sure that customers that travel around will not be happy with that.”
In the past eleven months, NCC data showed that Glo gained over five million new customers while Airtel Nigeria added over four million new subscribers to its network.
As of November 2018, Globacom, an indigenous telecommunications company, had 43.3 million subscribers while Airtel, headquartered in New Delhi, India, had 43.1 million subscribers.