• Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Nigeria’s internet usage hits record high on rising 5G subscriptions

Nigeria’s internet usage hits record high on rising 5G subscriptions

Nigeria’s internet data usage surged to a record 753,388.77 terabytes (TB) in March 2024, new data from the Nigerian Communications Commission has shown.

This marks an 8.43 percent increase from February (694,804.54 TB) and a return to growth after a recent dip.

The rise is attributed to a significant increase in 4G and 5G subscriptions, reflecting the country’s fast internet capacity. March saw 5G subscriptions reach 2.72 million, while 4G subscriptions climbed to 71.70 million, as 2G and 3G subscriptions continued to decline.

Karl Toriola, the chief executive officer of MTN Nigeria, said recently, “5G has been instrumental towards servicing digitisation; a lot of people are shifting their consumption from traditional voice and circuit switch services to data services…”

This growth also coincides with rising mobile internet subscriptions (163.89 million) and broadband penetration (43.53 percent). Mobile subscriptions fell marginally by 0.31 percent to 219.01 million in March.

Nigeria’s internet usage is at an all-time high, highlighting the country’s increasing dependence on digital services and smartphone penetration. It surged from 353,118.89TB in December 2021 to an average of over 600,000 TB monthly.

The NCC recently attributed this growth to the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to a spike in online activity and smartphone adoption. GSMA recently estimated that smartphone penetration in the country stood at 52 percent in 2022.

Ericsson has predicted that data consumption will continue to rise in Nigeria until 2028, driven by smartphone traffic.

Agreeing, GSMA said, “The increase in data traffic will be driven mainly by the growing usage of data-heavy services, primarily video streaming and online gaming. In Sub-Saharan Africa’s streaming market, where most customers rely on mobile broadband for connectivity, competition is heating up among global streaming providers (e.g., Netflix and Amazon Prime Video) and local providers (e.g., Showmax and Wi-flix).”