As the new generation of networks continues to spread across the country, the use of new technical networks is increasing. As per the latest data released by the Nigerian
Communications Commission (NCC), more and more subscribers are opting for 4G and 5G networks, which now account for 58.9 percent of the total internet subscriptions in the country.
In February 2023, the total internet subscriptions in the country, that is, subscriptions for 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G internet services increased to 156.9 million. This shows that 92,414,100 subscribers are on 4G and 5G networks. Broadband subscriptions rose to 92.5 million in February 2023, taking the country’s broadband penetration to 48.49 percent. Subscriptions to high-speed internet, also known as broadband, rose to 92.5 million in February 2023, according to NCC data.
However, the growth recorded in February was marginal compared to previous months, when broadband subscriptions had increased by an average of one million per month. NCC data shows that telecom operators in the country registered a total of 550,223 new broadband subscriptions in the month.
In January 2023, broadband subscriptions in the country amounted to 92 million. The increase recorded in February brought the country’s broadband penetration to 48.49 percent from 48.20 percent in the previous month.
The steady increase in broadband connections shows that the country’s efforts are bearing fruit through the implementation of the National Broadband Plan (NBP 2020-2025). In the plan, the government had set a target of 70 percent broadband penetration by 2025. Meanwhile, for the country to meet its goal of 70 percent broadband penetration by 2025, Nigeria needs to attract more and bring telecom users into the ecosystem. By 2025, the country is projected to reach another 21.51 percent of its broadband penetration, which currently stands at 48.49 percent.
According to the latest data released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), telecom operators are driving broadband penetration by rolling out their 4G service across the country.
A World Bank report found that every 10 percent increase in broadband penetration in a country would improve its GDP by at least 4.6 percent. Therefore, the rapid rollout of broadband services in Nigeria is expected to address various socio-economic challenges facing the country, including the need to expand its economy, expand the tax base, and improve digital literacy and educational standards. Amid the implementation of the country’s broadband plan, which began in 2020, subscriptions had been steadily declining for months due to the government’s SIM card policy. From a peak of 45.93 percent in October 2020, broadband penetration in Nigeria fell to 39.79 percent in July 2021.
Between November 2020 and October 2021, service providers lost a total of 9.9 million broadband connections. Before the ban on new SIM cards in 2020, the country saw a 1 percent increase every month as mobile network operators continued to push for the rollout of 4G and 5G networks across the country. 5G subscription in the country has already increased to over 60,000. Industry analysts said that the expansion rate of 5G is slow, probably due to lack of infrastructure as the network is limited to a few areas.
However, MTN Nigeria said it has partnered with some smartphone companies to provide Nigerians with 5G-enabled phones at a cheaper price to expand the 5G network across the country.