Active subscriptions for the internet across mobile, fixed and VOIP networks in Nigeria increased by rose to 158.2 million in April this year.
According to the latest industry statistics released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), this represents a 0.4% growth when compared with the 157.5 million recorded in March. The NCC’s data reveals that the mobile network operators MTN, Airtel, Globacom, and 9mobile maintained their dominance of the internet market with 157.6 million subscriptions.
VOIP operators, which include Smile Communications and Ntel accounted for 338,693 internet subscriptions as of April, while other internet service providers (ISPs) accounted for 204,810 internet subscriptions. The ISPs’ connection figure is, however, as of December 2022, according to NCC.
Broadband subscriptions decline
Meanwhile, despite the ongoing implementation of the Nigeria National Broadband Plan (NNBP 2020-2025) subscriptions to broadband, that is, high-speed internet service, declined to 91.8 million in April. This came as the second consecutive month of decline in the country’s broadband subscriptions having plunged from 92.5 million in February to 92 million in March.
With the April figure, the country’s broadband penetration reduced to 48.14% from 48.21% recorded in March. Through the implementation of the NNBP 2020-2025, the federal government is targeting 70% broadband penetration by 2025.
However, despite the decline, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC Prof. Umar Danbatta, said that the Commission is providing industry leadership to push broadband penetration in the country to well above 50% by the end of this year. According to him, the Commission would also ensure that Nigeria achieves 90% broadband coverage and 70% penetration by the year 2025 in line with the National Broadband Policy.
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.