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Nigeria broadband expands but deficits remain

from OKORO CHINEDU in Lagos, Nigeria
LAGOS – NIGERIA has recorded a steady rise in broadband penetration but gaps remain in policy implementation targets with respect to coverage, cost and speed of connection.

Data from the Nigerian Communications Commissions (NCC) indicates broadband subscriptions have increased steadily since October 2021, excluding a slight decrease in February 2022.

Mobile broadband accounts for 99 percent of total broadband connections, a development FBN Quest attributed to the ease and relatively low cost of acquiring mobile lines as well as the significant investment required for the development of fixed broadband infrastructure.

“Consequently, the growth in broadband connections broadly mirrors the increase in mobile internet subscriptions, and by extension active mobile subscribers,” the market watcher stated.

According to NCC data, total broadband connections climbed by 1,5 percent month-on-month and 10,9 percent year-on-year to approximately 84,6 million in June 2022.

This implies a penetration rate of 44,3 percent, up from 43,7 percent the previous month, and 40 percent as at June 2021.

“Given its beneficial effects on economic activity, particularly in sectors like e-commerce and fintech that have recorded robust growth, the expansion of broadband penetration is commendable,” FBN Quest stated.

Nigeria however has to fulfill the two of the goals of the national broadband plan, which are to achieve 90 percent population coverage and a penetration rate of 70 percent by 2025.

Since the plan’s inception in 2020, the penetration rate has risen by slightly under 7 percentage points, or 3 percentage points per year, according to FBN Quest.

Based on the National Broadband Plan, the required investment by industry operators for the plan’s attainment is estimated at between US$3,5 billion and $5 billion.

It is anticipated the imminent rollout of the 5G network by MTN Nigeria later this quarter, and subsequently by Mafab Communications, will enhance broadband penetration.

– CAJ News

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