Nigeria’s current data usage has hit 205,880 terabytes. This is according to data from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). According to the commission, the latest output indicates an increase of 202.08 per cent in the last three years.
According to the NCC data, information from subscriber/network reports demonstrates that data usage jumped from 68,154.12 terabytes in 2019 to 125,149.86 terabytes in 2020 and up to its current value of 205,880.4 terabytes.
The report explained that Nigerians consumed more data due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 because most functions had to be done through virtual platforms as work and other forms of activity moved from physical to remote.
This was buttressed by the former CEO of MTN Nigeria, Ferdi Moolman who elaborated that those who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic encountered unprecedented disruptions in their businesses and impacted telecom customers in new and demanding ways.
“The impact is still evolving. With lockdowns and restrictions imposed, our digital services and data accelerated in adoption, and many people started working from home.”Ferdi Moolman
Another reason for this rise is the improved 4G network across the country. According to an Airtel report, the improved 4G network had resulted in a rise in data traffic, an increase in smartphone penetration, data customers, and large data volumes consumed per customer.
The report also pegs total national and local outgoing voice calls at 150,825,830,687.40. This is up from 121,935,927,123 made in 2018 and 149,584,465,210 registered in 2019.
Broadband penetration hits 45%
The country’s broadband penetration currently stands at 45.02 per cent. This is a huge leap from 37.8 per cent recorded in 2019 and 31.48 per cent in 2018.
The number of 4G connections in the country also enjoyed impressive growths, currently standing at 36,538,228. This is a huge improvement from 21,712,218 total active 4G connections recorded in 2019 and 12,761,473 4G subscriptions in 2018.
Conversely, the total number of 3G connections fell from 50,441,608 in 2019 to its current volume of 49,402,994. But it’s yet to drop to its 2018 volume of 47,325,726. This means a lot of internet subscribers still use their 3G connections. There are still more 3G connections than 4G in the country.
GSM internet subscribers witnessed an increase of 53,639,503 over the period under review. The numbers rose from 100,234,283 in January 2018 to 153,873,786 in December 2020. This represents a growth rate of more than 50 per cent.
MTN remains king
MTN remains the most dominant player in the Nigerian telecoms space with a total of 59,594,891 subscribers as of December 2020. This is an improvement from 37,201,086 internet subscribers in 2018.
The company’s data revenue increased from N218.69 billion in 2019 to N332.37 billion in 2020, while its voice revenue increased from N723.92 billion to N766.39 billion. MTN’s data revenue in 2018 was N164.79 billion and its voice revenue was N674.78 billion.
Percentage of smartphones grew
The percentage of smartphones in the market grew by one percentage point to 33 per cent, and data customers grew by 14.5%, representing 34.3% of our customer base.
In addition, mobile penetration increased and we expanded our home broadband and enterprise customer base (from 1.8 to 2.6 GB per customer).
In constant currency, this led to a 31.2% increase in data revenue. Data ARPUs increased by 8.2 per cent as 3G and 4G use and penetration grew. During Q4 of 21, the use of 4G has more than doubled, accounting for 62.2% of total data consumption on the network.”
The smartphone market is the largest in the mobile device industry. GSMA statistics show that 53 million smartphones were connected in Nigeria in 2018. Globally, the number of smartphones connected to the networks will reach 154 million by 2025, according to the GSMA.