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Small Rise in Internet Subscriptions

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Friday, December 08, 2017 / 8:48AM / FBNQuest Research 

The latest data released by the NCC, the industry regulator, show that internet subscriptions stood at 93.9 million in October, representing y/y growth of 0.8%. The figure implies density of 51% in a population estimated at 185 million, placing Nigeria well above the African average of around 16% as estimated by McKinsey. In October there were 912,000 new internet subscriptions recorded, compared with 816,000 the previous month.

Data consumption is steadily rising, and activity within the country’s digital space has equally picked up. Consumers frequently opt for multiple SIMs connected to separate packages so as to ensure uninterrupted internet data services. This could be a reason for the increase in total internet subscriptions recorded in October. 

Although MTN accounted for the largest share of total internet subscriptions, Airtel had the fastest m/m growth, at 3.1% m/m. The increase for MTN was 1.4% m/m. 

There were subscription losses of 123,000 on 9mobile (formerly Etisalat) and 83,000 on Globacom. The former experienced liquidity issues and is now owned by its lenders. According to some subscribers within the network, service has slipped but remains relatively stable.   

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Nigeria’s internet presence is heavily dependent upon mobile services, particularly in the rural areas that have some exposure to the internet. According to the NCC, mobile broadband penetration is currently 21.8%. 

Huge investments in telecommunications infrastructure are required to drive broadband availability, accessibility and affordability in Nigeria. Typically, the average cost of a monthly data package is N5, 000, which accounts for 28% of the national minimum wage. 

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