After maintaining a steady growth rate in one year, Nigeria’s broadband subscriptions reached 92.6 million in February 2023, up from 92.01 million in January 2023, statistics released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has revealed.
The growth also led to an increase in broadband penetration from 48.20 per cent in January 2023 to 48.49 per cent in February 2023.
Nigeria, in December 2018, surpassed its target of 30 per cent broadband penetration, and since then, the country has maintained a steady growth in broadband penetration and subscriptions across the county.
The statistics, which THISDAY obtained from NCC’s website, showed that in February 2022, total broadband subscription was 78.08 million, while broadband penetration was 40.91 per cent, but in March 2022, broadband subscription increased to 80.68 million, while broadband penetration also increased to 42.24 per cent.
Analysis of the data showed that in April 2022, broadband subscription increased again to 81.68 million, while penetration also increased same period to 42.79 per cent. Then in May 2022, Nigeria witnessed another increase in broadband subscription to 83.37 million, with an increase in broadband penetration to 43.67 per cent.
Further review showed that between June 2022 and September 2022, broadband subscription increased again to 84.61 million, 84.92 million, 85.23 million and 86.06 million respectively. Within the same period from June to September, broadband penetration also increased to 44.32 per cent, 44.49 per cent, 44.65 per cent and 45.09 per cent respectively.
“Between October 2022 to December 2022, Nigeria again witnessed another growth in broadband subscription. The figures rose to 86.95 million in October, 88.27 million in November 2022 and 90.40 million in December 2022. In the same vein and within the same period from October 2022 to December 2022, broadband penetration also increased to 45.55 per cent, 46.24 per cent and 47.36 per cent respectively.
“In January 2023, broadband subscription increased again to 92.01 million, with increased broadband penetration of 48.20 per cent. In February 2023, broadband subscription reached as high as 92.56 million, while broadband penetration increased to 48.49 per cent, “NCC said.
Speaking on the growth rate in broadband subscriptions and penetration, the Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, attributed the growth rate to better policy implementation by the NCC, based on the set target to achieve 70 per cent broadband penetration by 2025.
Chief Executive Officer, Internet Xchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN), Mr. Mohammed Rudman, attributed the growth of broadband penetration to the improved domestication of data within Nigeria, through IXPN.
According to Rudman, “In Nigeria, locally domesticated broadband internet traffic increased from 30 per cent to 70 per cent within the last seven years. As of today, Nigeria is at level two, where at least 70 per cent of the internet traffic from major service providers is connected to the IXPN, while only about 30 per cent of internet traffic is connected to international exchanges.
“The impact of domestication of data shows that in 2012, Nigeria was exchanging only 300 megabits per second, but in 2020, it increased to 125 gigabits per second, which amounts to saving up to $40 million annually. However, in 2023, Nigeria is currently exchanging about 400 gigabits per second, which is an increase by over 200 per cent from 2020.”
The NCC statistics also showed an increase in active internet subscriptions in the past six months.
According to the statistics, in October 2022, total internet subscription was 152.7 million, which increased to 152.9 million in November 2022.
“In December 2022, the figure increased again to 154.9 million active internet users, before increasing again to 156.2 million active internet users in January 2023. In February 2023, the total number of active internet users increased again to 156.9 million. The statistics however showed that mobile internet connectivity is leading other sources of internet connectivity like Fixed Wired and Wireless connections, including connections through Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), “the NCC said.