The lion king

Internet speed needs a boost

Friday, January 28, 2022 / 09:20 / by FBNQuest Research / Header image credit: ZD Net

Our graph below is taken from the most recent data from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for December 2021. They show another modest increase of 1.0% m/m and 1.1% m/m in active mobile lines and Internet subscriptions at 195 million and 141.6 million. respectively, for December. Active lines have increased steadily since July 21, following the lifting of the regulator’s ban on the sale and activation of SIM cards. The number of active lines translates into teledensity and Internet penetration rates of approximately 97.6% and 70.8% based on an assumed population of 200 million.

Consistent with the modest growth in active mobile lines and Internet subscriptions, we see that broadband subscriptions also increased by 2% m/m to around 78 million, implying a broadband penetration rate of almost 40 %.

Even before the regulation-induced plunge last year, growth in active mobile lines and Internet subscriptions had begun to slow as the industry approached maturity, with teledensity and mobile penetration rates around 104% and 77.2%, respectively, in November ‘2021.

However, despite the large base of active mobile lines and Internet subscribers (who are mostly mobile), the quality of the Internet connection is still very poor, when measured by data speed.

According to the Digital Quality of Life Index, a global body that ranks countries on digital wellbeing, Nigeria ranks 82nd out of 110 ranked countries for digital quality and 105th in terms of broadband speed.

On a more positive note, Nigeria was ranked 43rd in the world for mobile data pricing in 2021, with an average price of $0.88 per 1GB of data, compared to a global average of $4.07, based on data. data from 230 countries.

While the expansion of GSM networks from 4G networks has helped increase data speeds, there is still a long way to go to increase Nigeria’s average internet data download speed from around 18.92 Mbps to the median global average. of 29.55 Mbps, according to statistics from the Speedtest Global index (71.26 Mbps). average average).

Following the success of the 5G license auction last month, the eventual deployment of 5G networks would help improve data speeds. However, we expect a gradual rollout. Given additional network provider infrastructure spending, data plans may initially be more expensive before gradually decreasing.

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