Internet subscriptions across all networks in Nigeria increased by 2.7 million to 157.5 million in Q1.
Despite the availability of different networks offering internet service, mobile remained the dominant network used by Nigerians to access the internet.
Meanwhile, subscriptions for high-speed internet also increased in the quarter bringing the country’s broadband penetration level to 21%.
Active subscriptions for the internet across mobile, fixed and VOIP networks in Nigeria increased by 2.7 million in the first quarter of this year.
In the first quarter of this year, Nigeria witnessed a rise in active internet subscriptions by 2.7 million, as reported by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). This brought the country’s total internet connections to 157.5 million by the end of March, compared to 154.8 million in December 2022. The increase represents a growth rate of 1.7% during this period.
Among the internet service providers, the major mobile network operators, namely MTN, Airtel, Globacom, and 9mobile, continued to dominate the market with a combined total of 156.9 million subscriptions. Additionally, VOIP operators Smile and Ntel accounted for 340,614 internet subscriptions, while other ISPs contributed 221,267 subscriptions.
These figures highlight the ongoing expansion of internet connectivity in Nigeria and the continued dominance of mobile network operators in providing internet services to the population. The steady growth in internet subscriptions indicates the increasing reliance on digital connectivity and its importance in various aspects of daily life and business activities in the country.
Broadband subscriptions on the rise
Meanwhile, broadband subscriptions, that is, high-speed internet service, also rose to 92 million at the end of Q1 2023 from 90.4 million recorded in December last year. This brought the country’s broadband penetration to 48.21% at the end of March.
The increase in broadband subscriptions shows that the country’s efforts through the implementation of the National Broadband Plan (NBP 2020-2025) are yielding results. In the plan, the government had set a target of 70% broadband penetration to be achieved by 2025.
The telcos are driving broadband penetration through the expansion of their 4G service across the country.
What you should know
A World Bank report established that every 10% increase in broadband penetration in any country would improve its GDP by at least 4.6%.
Hence, the rapid rollout of broadband services in Nigeria is expected to address various socio-economic challenges the country faces, including the need to grow its economy, expand the tax base, and improve digital literacy and educational standards.
Amidst the implementation of the country’s broadband plan, which started in 2020, subscriptions had declined steadily at some points for months as a result of the government’s policy on SIM cards.
From a peak point of 45.93% in October 2020, broadband penetration in Nigeria slipped to 39.79% in July 2021. Between November 2020 and October 2021, the service providers lost a total of 9.9 million broadband subscriptions.
Before the ban on new SIM in 2020, the country had been recording a 1%increase each month, as the mobile network operators continued to push for the deployment of 4G service across the country.
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