Internet Users in Nigeria Hit 93.4m

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Nigeria Internet ecosystem gains momentum, records 93.4million users in July compared to about 81.8 mobile internet subscriptions in January, representing more than 14 percent growth over a seven months period

By Anayo Ezugwu  |  Oct 12, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT  |

THE number of mobile internet users in Nigeria has increased to 93.4 million, according to a new report on Internet status in the country. The report published by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, indicated that the country has recorded more than 14 percent growth in mobile internet subscriptions between January and end of July.

According to the data, which shows that Nigeria’s mobile internet ecosystem is gaining momentum, telecoms networks collectively boosted mobile internet subscriptions on their networks from 81.8 million in January to 93.4 million in July, this year.

Last year, mobile internet subscriptions increased marginally from 64 million in January to 67.1 million at the end of June, representing a growth of 4.8 percent. According to the latest report, from 81.8 million in January, the number of GSM internet subscriptions grew to 83.2 million in February; 85.3 million in March; 86.9 million in April 88.1 million in May and by the end of June, the figure rose to 92.6 million.

Over the seven months period, each of the GSM operators accumulated additional mobile internet subscribers on their networks. Etisalat Nigeria, with more than 23 million subscribers on its network, recorded the highest number of additional mobile internet subscriptions during the period.

According to the NCC data, Etisalat increased the mobile data subscriptions from 10 million in January to 15.3 million at the end of July, representing an increase of 5.3 million new data users during the period. Airtel came second by increasing its mobile internet users from 14.9 in January to 17.6 million in June, representing an increase of 2.7 million new mobile data subscriptions on its network. Globacom came third in terms of the number of additional mobile internet users recorded during the period.

Globacom increased its figure from 17.6 in January to 19.3 in June, representing additional 2.2 million users and this represents a 12.5 percent growth. According to the data, from 39.1 million mobile Internet subscriptions in January, MTN increased to 41.4 million, representing additional 2.3 million users.

The report showed that the low entry cost of smart-phone, the lowering cost of the internet and increasing penchant for mobility are key drivers for growing internet uptake in the country. Industry analysts say the National Broadband Plan being implemented by federal government, through the telecoms regulator, would further help in deepening broadband penetration.

According to official data from the NCC, broadband penetration had increased from six per cent in 2013 to 10 per cent currently but with a target of 30 per cent penetration by 2018. However, in spite of the current internet penetration, Nigeria has been comparatively ranked low in terms of connectivity level. This is according to a new connectivity index report released by a global ICT firm, Huwaei Technologies. The report, which is the second annual Global Connectivity Index, GCI, of Huawei released in Shenzhen, China, ranked 50 economies in terms of connectivity, ICT usage, and digital transformation.

The index focuses on a total of 38 variables such as networks, connectivity, computing, mobile adoption, digital economy, service demand and e-commerce to determine the position of each of the 50 nations. The variables are divided across four areas namely supply, demand, experience and potential being measured and analysed. The 50 countries are listed under three categories namely leaders, followers and beginners on the GCI list. According to the report, South Africa and Egypt are ranked number 33 and 36 respectively and fall under the followers’ category.

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