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Nigeria’s active internet subscriptions increased by 2.7 million in 3 months

Internet subscriptions Nigeria

Active internet subscriptions across mobile, fixed and VOIP networks in Nigeria increased by 2.7 million in the first quarter of this year.

According to the latest industry statistics released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), this brought the country’s total active internet connections to 157.5 million at the end of March. The data shows that as of December 2022, the total internet subscriptions stood at 154.8 million.

Compared to the December 2022 figure, the internet subscription across the networks increased by 1.7% in the first three months of this year.

The NCC’s data reveals that the mobile network operators MTN, Airtel, Globacom, and 9mobile maintained their dominance of the internet market with 156.9 million subscriptions. VOIP operators Smile and Ntel accounted for 340,614 internet subscriptions, while other internet service providers (ISPs) accounted for 221,267 subscriptions.

Meanwhile, subscriptions to broadband, 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.

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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