Continuing Growth in Internet Subscriptions, Stood At 143.3m in June 2020


Thursday, August 13, 2020 / 09:27 AM / By FBNQuest Research / Header Image Credit: Pinterest

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The latest data released by the NCC, the industry regulator, show that internet subscriptions stood at 143.3 million in June, representing y/y growth of 17%. The figure implies density of 72% in a population estimated at 198 million, placing Nigeria well above the African average of around 16% as indicated by McKinsey. In June there were c.2.6 million new internet subscriptions. There has been partial easing of the restrictions on personal movements. However, the work-from-home approach is still firmly in use.


In addition, schools are yet to resume physical classes, hence virtual learning is the main route for students (notably those enrolled in private schools). Therefore, the steady m/m increase in internet subscriptions is not surprising, given that mobile internet devices require SIM cards to function.


Anecdotal evidence shows that employees within the formal sector (particularly in Lagos and Abuja) that have been forced into the virtual (digital) economy patronize at least three internet service providers. This allows them to enjoy stable internet connections and avoid disruptions to virtual meetings and conferences.


Based on data from the National Bureau of Statistics, in Q1 2020 Lagos State had the largest number of internet users in the country, with slightly over 17 million. It was followed by Kano State with 8.3 million and then Ogun State with 8.0 million.


The NCC data show that in June MTN Nigeria (MTNN) accounted for the largest share (42%) of total subscriptions. It recorded a 3.0% m/m increase in data subscriptions. MTNN's revenue grew by 8% y/y in Q2, mainly on the back of stellar y/y growth of c.56% in data revenue.


Internet subscriptions (% chg; m/m)

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Sources: Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); FBNQuest Capital Research


Among the mobile network operators, 9mobile recorded a decline of -2.0% m/m in internet subscriptions in June.


Broadband penetration currently stands at 41.3%. Deepening broadband penetration will result in improved internet speed. Connectivity has become somewhat of a life tool due to the ongoing pandemic. Heavy dependence on internet services is a core requirement to boost productivity.

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