Nigeria’s evolving internet market has just hit another milestone, as the latest statistics released by the Internet World Stats revealed that the country now ranks 7th in terms of countries with the highest number of internet users in the world.
According to the report, Nigeria’s total internet users stood at 111.6 million as at the end of March 2019. It was further revealed that among the top 20 countries in the world, Nigeria’s internet users grew the highest by 55,716% in the last 19 years.
Growth Trend: Nigeria’s internet or data market began to evolve in the year 2000 when the deregulation process of the telecom sector began. Telecoms deregulation allowed private investors to provide services to Nigerians.
Basically, Nigeria’s total internet users were estimated at just 200,000 in the year 2000. It has since risen to high 111.6 million in 2019.
The top 20 Countries: There are 4.3 billion internet users in the world. Out of this number, China has the highest number of Internet users in the world with 829 million internet users, representing 58% of its entire population. This is not strange as the country remains the most populated country in the world with 1.42 billion people.
- Second on the list is India, the second most populated country in the world with 1.36 billion people, closely following China. According to the statistics, India has a total of 560 million internet users, representing 41% of its total population.
- The United State comes third with 292.8 million internet users, representing 89% of the country’s total population. The U.S population is currently put at 329 million.
Penetration lowest in Africa: Despite ranking third with the highest number of internet users, Africa still maintains the lowest in terms of internet penetration in the world. The region’s population is put at 1.32 billion, while internet users are only 492.7 million people; representing just 37.3% of the total population.
- On the other hand, while the Asian region comes top with the highest number of internet users, North America records the highest internet penetration across the world’s regions.
- Internet penetration in North America is about 89.4% with 327.7 million internet users
- Europe’s region ranks second with the highest internet penetration of 86.8%, having 2.19 internet users.
On the flip side, Nigeria also has low internet penetration when compared to other countries of the world. A recent report shows that Broadband penetration (measured by the number of broadband subscribers per 100 inhabitants) rose to 33.7%.
High costs amidst low Internet Quality: There have been growing concerns about the high costs charged by internet service providers without quality services in return.
- A recent report from the UK-based price comparison website, Cable, revealed that the country’s internet download speed is one of the slowest in the world.
- According to the report, Nigeria’s internet download speed is ranked 176th of 207 countries measured globally.
Upshots: The latest statistic is a welcome development. But more work is required in order to put Nigeria among the comity of nations with quality internet services.
Despite having five mobile internet data providers (MTN, Glo, 9mobile, Airtel and Visafone), internet downloads speed in Nigeria still ranks among the slowest in the world. The regulator (the NCC) needs to be more proactive in order to ensure consumers get value for money.