Nigeria’s Internet Subscriptions Soar to 159.5 Million in May 2023

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In Nigeria, there has been a notable surge in active internet subscriptions encompassing mobile, fixed, and VOIP networks, with a significant rise to 159.5 million in the month of May, this year. According to the latest industry statistics released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), this figure represents a commendable 8.6% growth compared to the 158.2 million subscriptions recorded in the preceding month of April.

The dominant players in the internet market continue to be the esteemed mobile network operators, namely MTN, Airtel, Globacom, and 9mobile, collectively accounting for an impressive total of 159 million internet subscriptions.

Similarly, the VOIP operators, including Smile Communications and Ntel, have contributed to this burgeoning trend with a noteworthy 335,121 internet subscriptions as of May.

Moreover, it is essential to note that other internet service providers (ISPs) have also played a role, with 204,810 internet subscriptions attributed to them. It is pertinent to mention that this data pertains to figures from December 2022, as reported by the NCC.

This considerable upswing in internet subscriptions signifies the increasing demand for seamless connectivity within Nigeria. The commendable efforts of these network operators, through continuous advancements in internet services, notably contribute to the nation’s progressive digital transformation. As the government embraces the digital era, the tech landscape in Nigeria continues to evolve and thrive.

The Surge in Broadband Subscriptions Marks a Positive Turn:

In a notable shift, subscriptions to high-speed internet services, commonly referred to as broadband, have rebounded after experiencing a two-month decline. The figures for May showed a rise from 91.8 million in April to an impressive 92.2 million, reflecting the growing demand for broadband connectivity in the country.

As a result of this increase, Nigeria’s broadband penetration has reached 48.28%, a slight improvement from the 48.14% recorded in April. The progress aligns with the National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025, which aims to achieve a substantial 70% broadband penetration by the year 2025.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is playing a crucial role in driving this advancement. Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, recently emphasized the Commission’s commitment to providing industry leadership in accelerating broadband penetration. With a determined focus, they aspire to surpass 50% penetration by the year’s end.

Looking ahead, the NCC has set ambitious targets for the nation’s broadband coverage and penetration. Their vision entails achieving 90% broadband coverage and 70% penetration by the year 2025, as outlined in the National Broadband Policy.

Nonetheless, achieving these goals requires concerted efforts and investment in infrastructure. Prof. Danbatta highlighted the need for attracting more investments to materialize these targets, ensuring that the country’s digital landscape continues to evolve positively.

The Economic Impact of Broadband Penetration in Nigeria:

A recent report by the World Bank has shed light on the substantial economic benefits associated with increasing broadband penetration in any country. According to their findings, for every 10% increase in broadband penetration, a nation’s GDP experiences a significant boost of at least 4.6%. This underscores the immense potential that rapid broadband rollout holds for Nigeria.

The ongoing swift deployment of broadband services in Nigeria is poised to tackle various socio-economic challenges that the country currently faces. By fostering economic growth, broadening the tax base, and elevating digital literacy and educational standards, improved broadband access can have a transformative impact on the nation.

It’s important to note that the implementation of Nigeria’s broadband plan commenced in 2020. However, during certain periods, subscription rates experienced a steady decline, largely due to government policies on SIM cards. As a result, the peak broadband penetration point of 45.93% in October 2020 dipped to 39.79% in July 2021.

Between November 2020 and October 2021, the service providers encountered a total loss of 9.9 million broadband subscriptions. This situation has highlighted the significance of creating a conducive environment for steady broadband growth, underscoring the need for a comprehensive strategy to address challenges in the industry.

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