• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Nigeria’s broadband penetration rises to 41.6% in January

Nigeria’s broadband penetration hit 47.3% in 2022

Nigeria’s broadband penetration increased to 41.6 percent in January this year from 40.8 percent in December 2021, data from the Nigerian Communications Commissions (NCC) show.

This development broke the record set in August 2021 slightly by 1.4 percent, being the highest in a period of five months (August–December) 2021.

The growth recorded in January is on the back of the NCC’s lifting of the prohibition on new card sales and activation after a temporary halt on sales to allow for the National Identification Number and SIM card integration exercise.

Broadband penetration is defined as the number of subscriptions to fixed and mobile broadband services divided by the number of residents in each country.

According to the NCC data, total broadband connections climbed by 1.7 percent month-on-month to over 79 million in January. Although total internet connections were 143.5 million, with a penetration rate of around 41 percent, experts say most of these connections were on low-speed internet networks.

They said as a result, the significance of broadband internet cannot be overstated in terms of data speeds and applications, as well as its impact on economic growth.

In relation to its peers, Nigeria’s broadband penetration lags that of South Africa, Egypt, and Kenya, with penetration rates of approximately 113 percent, 74 percent, and 48 percent respectively, according to data from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

According to the ITU, a 10 percent rise in broadband penetration is anticipated to result in GDP growth of 2.0 percent and 1.8 percent for low- and middle-income nations, respectively.

Read also: NCC takes control of 5G spectrum ahead of deadline for licence payment

Recognising the importance of broadband, the Federal Government has set a broadband penetration target of 90 percent of the population and 70 percent of geographical landmass by 2025.

“We developed the National Broadband Plan 2020-2030, which targets a 90 percent penetration rate in terms of population and a 70 percent rate in terms of our total landmass within the next two years. It also targets a speed of 25mbps for urban areas while a 10mbps speed is targeted for rural areas,” Isa Pantami, minister of communications and digital economy, had said recently.

Given the modest pace of new connections, experts say the broadband target seems daunting. They said the nation needed higher capital investment to be able to implement its new broadband plan.

According to them, broadband penetration shows a significant transformative impact on how people live and work, it also empowers subscribers with a global reach.