Business

Nigeria’s broadband subscriptions surge by 3.2m

  • Penetration hits 41.61%

After months of constituent losses, telecommunications operators in the country gained 3.2 million broadband ssubscriptions between November 2021 and January 2022. The three months gain brought the country’s total subscriptions for high-speed internet to 79.4 million as of January end.

 

According to the latest industry data released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the increase in subscriptions also brought the broadband penetration in the country to 41.61 per cent from 39.89 per cent recorded in October 2021.

Despite the ongoing implementation of the country’s National Broadband Plan (2020-2025) with a target of 70 per cent penetration by 2025, subscriptions for the service had been declining for months.

 

From a peak point of 45.93 per cent in October 2020, broadband penetration in Nigeria slipped to 39.79 per cent in July 2021. The decline, which started before the ban on new SIM registration in December 2020, was worsened by the policy as the operators lost many broadband customers during the four-month ban.

 

Between November 2020 and October 2021, the service providers had lost a total of 9.9 million broadband subscriptions. The database further increased by 1.7 million in December 2021 to hit 78 million.

 

According to the NCC report, in January 2022, 1.4 million new broadband subscriptions were recorded, which brought the database to 79.4 million.

 

Before the ban on new SIM in 2020, the country had been recording a one per cent increase each month, as the mobile network operators continued to push for deployment of 4G service across the country.

 

Between January and October 2020, broadband connectivity in the country had increased by 15.5 million.

 

Returning to the good days, the operators added 168,027 new subscribers in November 2021, which brought the total subscriptions to 76.3 million. In December. Speaking on the implemen-  tation of the NBP 2020-2025, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, had said that broadband penetration was key to reviving the Nigerian economy.

 

Citing reports from the World Bank and the World Economic Forum, the Minister said 10 per cent of broadband penetration in any country would improve its GDP by at least 4.6 per cent.

 

The Minister noted that the NBP addresses three of the eight priorities that the Federal Government assigned to the Federal Ministry of Communications and  Digital Economy, and the parastatals under its purview, for implementation.

“These priorities are the implementation of broadband connectivity and execution of a plan to deploy 4G across the country, as well as the development and implementation of a digital economy policy and strategy,” he stated.

 

The implementation of the Plan, he said, would lead to the creation of jobs, improved socioeconomic development, and sustained economic growth, amongst others. “However, it is important to note that the successful implementation of the Plan requires synergy between government and  the private sector.

 

As such, this plan has received input from all stakeholders and will be driven by the private sector, with the government providing the enabling environment,” he said.

 

“Digital technology offers Nigeria the opportunity to grow and diversify its economy from the overdependence on oil & gas export proceeds.

 

With a teeming population estimated at 203 Million according to the United Nations (UN), where over half of the population is under 25 years of age, the country is faced with the tremendous challenge to put this largely unemployed and underemployed population to work,” the Minister added.

 

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