BusinessDay

Nigeria’s broadband penetration rises by 3.2 percent in March

Nigeria’s broadband penetration saw a modest pick in March 2022 at 42.2 percent, compared to the rate it recorded in February at 40.9 percent, data from the Nigerian Communications Commissions (NCC) shows.

The record for March is 1.4 percent higher than January at 41.6 percent, which makes it the highest in the first three months of the year.

The growth recorded continues 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 (NIN) 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 data, total broadband connections climbed by 3.3 percent month-on-month to over 80 million. Also total internet connections increased to 145.8 million, from 144 million in February, with a penetration rate of around 42 percent, experts say most of these connections are on low-speed internet networks.

Read also: The essentials of communication

For teledensity, there has been a consistent, but slight increase in the period under review at 103.5, 103.8, and 104.5 percent respectively. Nigeria’s teledensity is calculated by the number of fixed (landline) telephone connections per 100 people in a specific geographic area, based on a population estimate of 190 million.

Recognizing the importance of broadband, the federal government has set an ambitious broadband penetration target of 90 percent of the population and 70 percent of geographical landmass by 2025.

While Nigeria is yet to attain the National Broadband Plan 2020-2030, according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a 10 percent rise in broadband penetration is anticipated to result in gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 2.0 and 1.8 percent for low- and middle-income nations, respectively.

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

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

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

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