Most Nigerians want better service quality and price tariffs


2 November 2012In a recent snap poll conducted by NOI Polls on the perception of subcribers to the major Mobile Networks Operators (MNOs) across the country with regards to their services and price tariffs, results revealed that the majority of respondents (45%) use dual lines, while the minority (26%) either use a line or multiple lines(29%:more than 2 lines) Probing further, the need for dual or multiple lines was essential for the following key reasons: (i) the lack of network reliability on all networks tied to the ease of switching to another line in the event of a network failure, and (ii) Affordable tariffs on competing networks that allow for longer talk time



For the respondents that use only one line (26% of the total); MTN clearly leads the market with 89% subscribers and is followed by Airtel 5%, Glo 4% and Etisalat 2%. For majority that use dual lines, majority of this group (34%) use a combination of MTN and Etisalat Lines whilst 31% use MTN and Glo and 29% use MTN and Airtel Lines. A common thread observed is that most dual and multiple line users always have an MTN line in addition to others. See figure below for results:





Based on the respondents sampled in this snap poll, a look at the main line used showed MTN as the clear leader with 78% of respondents using the network, 9% use Airtel whilst Glo and and Etisalat tie at 6%

A look at the ratings of the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) along main lines used shows a majority of subscribers (31%) to the Etisalat Network rating their Network very good versus a majority of MTN subscribers (40%) rating their Network average on performance. Airtel came second with 43% of their subscribers rating their performance as Good whilst a majority of Glo subscribers (45%) rate their Network operator as Average. Results indicate that Etisalat subscribers rate their MNO higher than other subscribers of competing MNOs. Again this was tied to perceived value received from the MNOs.





When respondents were asked if they felt they were getting value for money from their main network provider, the majority (55%) expressed satisfaction. Interestingly though, from the respondents that use MTN as their main lines, only 53% affirmed that they were getting for money, while those using Etisalat 76%, Airtel 62% and Glo 55% also answered yes. These results indicate that across the four major GSM network providers, subscribers of Etisalat and Airtel are more of the opinion that they are getting value for their money with Etisalat getting majority nods. 


When probed further on what the perception of value represented, subscribers tied value perception to three key indicators: Network/service quality (44%), Bonus Credit tariff offers (34%) and Cheaper tariffs (14%). A key point to note here is that little value is ascribed to promotional offers, internet bundles or family/friends bundles.

Respondents were asked about their preferences of price tariffs across the major MNOs; two results were obtained here: first; MTN tariffs are seen as most preferred (44%) with Etisalat coming second (23%) and Airtel third (17%). Second; a cross tabulation methodology was used by comparing the Main lines against other MNOs and their subscribers preferred price tariff.


Results show that 54% of MTN subscribers prefer their network’s tariff, however a percentage of their subscribers showed a preference for Etisalat rates (21%), Airtel (12%) and Glo (8%). 13% of Glo subscribers and 7% of Airtel Subscribers also prefer Etisalat price tariffs. Amazingly 83% of respondents that had Etisalat as their main lines preferred the network’s tariff. Airtel also had a large majority of their subscribers preferring their price tariffs and 12% of MTN subscribers preferring their price tariffs. The results from this question buttresses the fact stated earlier in dual line usage that most combinations are the MTN & Etisalat lines. 

Respondents were asked about their perception of the quality of service (best and worst) across the major networks: two results were obtained here: 
For the best service first results; MTN’s network service was perceived to be the best with 47% of respondents with Etisalat coming second (12%) and Airtel third (11%). A slight majority (21%) were of the opinion none was. Second; a cross tabulation methodology was used by comparing the Main lines against other MNOs and their subscribers’ perceived notion of quality network service.
Again a common thread observed shows majority of subscribers (81%) to the Etisalat Network rating their MNO as best service provider and a number of other network subscribers rating Etisalat as the best service provider ; MTN (15%), Airtel (7%) and Glo (7%). Airtel also had a large majority of their subscribers (73%) rating the MNO as the best service provider across the four major networks whilst 10% of MTN , 14% of Glo and 0% of Etisalat rate them as the best service provider.

The figure below displays the results obtained for best service provider;


For the worst service; first results; MTN’s network service was perceived to be the worst with 13% of respondents with Glo and Airtel coming second at (6%). A key point to note is that no respondent noted Etislat as having the worst service. The majority of respondents (68%) were on the fence. Second; a cross tabulation methodology was used by comparing the Main lines against other MNOs and their subscribers’ perceived notion of quality network service. Most subcribers from other MNOs rated MTN higher as the worst service provider versus their own MNOs. Glo and Airtel subscribers do not think Etisalat is a bad service provider.
The figure below displays the results obtained for worst service provider;



Respondents were asked to suggest different measures to be taken to deter MNOs from rendering poor network service quality; 39% suggested that the MNOs should be mandated to improve and 26% suggested that NCC should sanction those that fail to improve their services. 20% of respondents were of the opinion that introduction of competition may keep the exiting MNOs on their toes. The figure below shows the results:



In conclusion, it is important to reiterate that while the calls were been made to conduct the interviews, most of the respondents that either answered their phones or were willing to participate in the poll were MTN subscribers, resulting to a slight skew of the data. Nonetheless, the poll has been able to establish two basic truths that need to be communicated to the mobile telecoms operators and the regulators.

First, consumers of telecomm services in Nigeria measure value for money and preference for networks by service quality and affordable tariff rates. Therefore to win the hearts of subscribers, telecoms operators should concentrate their efforts on improving the quality of their service and consider a downward review of the present tariff rates. Secondly, respondents will like to see telecom regulators showing more firmness in mandating the telecoms operators to improve on the quality of their services, and also move further to sanction operators that are not adhering to service quality standards.

To obtain the full report of this survey please contact us at

Results are based on a nationwide telephone survey of 758 randomly selected phone-owning adults, aged 18 and older, and conducted from October 19th – 22nd 2012. For results based on this sample size, we can say with 95% confidence that the margin of error is plus or minus 5 percentage points of what they would have been if the entire population had been surveyed.. The margin of error reflects the influencing of data weighting, while question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys may introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.