Despite the declining rate of broadband penetration, Nigeria’s telecommunications companies reported an additional two (2) million new internet subscribers as of April 2023.
Recent data from the Nigeria communication commission (NCC) show that internet subscribers rose to 157 million as of April 2023 from 155 million reported in January 2023, accounting for two million new subscribers added to the already existing subscriber base.
MTN Nigeria, the largest operator by the number of subscribers, maintained its position as it gained 1.1 million new internet subscribers bringing its total subscribers database to 67.5 million.
Airtel overtook Globacom in the period under review to become the second-largest operator in terms of internet subscriptions. The telecom added over 745,642 subscribers as of April, which brought its total internet subscribers to 42.5 million.
For Globacom, it also gained new subscriptions in the month, adding over 390,432 subscribers. At the end of April, its internet subscriptions database stood at 43.4 million.
However, 9mobile’s internet subscription declined in the month. The telecom operator lost over 203,577 subscriptions, which brought its database to 4.2 million at the end of April.
The growth recorded during this four-month period is on the back of the deployment of MNT and Airtel’s 5G service, which provides high-speed internet, lower latency, and unlocks new use cases for consumers and enterprises.
MTN became the first mobile network operator to introduce 5G in Nigeria in September 2022, and it has since focused on expanding its home broadband strategy, resulting in a substantial increase in its subscriber base.
The report further revealed that since June 2022, the average growth rate of Nigeria’s broadband penetration was about 0.5% despite the high rate of smartphone penetration in the country.
Nigeria’s broadband internet penetration stood at 48.14% in the month of April, an o.12 percent decrease when compared to the 48.20% obtained at the beginning of the year.
Despite Nigeria’s ambitions, there has been negative growth in broadband coverage, posing a potential setback to the government’s goal of achieving 75 percent broadband internet penetration by 2025.