Nigeria has opportunity to emerge as a digital powerhouse

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Tuesday, Sep 24th

Nigeria pushes global mobile broadband subscriptions to 4.3bn

Nigeria pushes global mobile broadband subscriptions to 4.3bn

As reported by Vanguard, Nigeria leads Africa as the highest mobile broadband growing country with a 91 million broadband base. "This recently also gives the global record a push to the 4.3 billion mobile broadband subscriptions."

The country is reported to have added three million subscriptions, in the first quarter of the year, setting it at the fifth spot for highest growing country, globally. "However, there are a few factors that fuelled this surge."

Vanguard says over 152 million telecom subscribers in the country are mainly on smartphones. "This does not only drive mobile internet usage but also gives a significant boost to the growth of e-commerce in Nigeria."

According to a recent study by Jumia on African mobile trends, about 71% of its users in Nigeria access the website through their mobile phones, compared to 53% of customers in the rest of Africa. Jumia said that mobile customers, both those who use its app and those from mobile browsers, account for 63% of all orders it receives in Nigeria.

The greater penetration of low-cost smartphones and data-efficient mobile browsers are reasons for the rise in mobile internet use, according to Vanguard. "Mobile phone manufacturers in the last two to three years have engaged in consistent competition, trying to torpedo one another in low entry smartphones that have all the features of high-end phones."

"Nigerian e-commerce customers are increasingly checking out and paying for orders directly from their mobile phones and there has been increased internet adoption."

A 2017 report released by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), revealed that 830 million young people are online, representing 80% of the youth population in 104 countries. ITU's study also showed a significant increase in broadband access and subscriptions with China leading the way. The report reveals those youths, particularly those between the ages of 15-24 year are at the forefront of internet adoption.

Commenting on the report, ITU Secretary-General, Houlin Zhao said; "Great strides are being made to expand internet access through the increased availability of broadband networks. Digital connectivity plays a critical role in bettering lives, as it opens the door to unprecedented knowledge, employment and financial opportunities for billions of people worldwide."

The number of fixed broadband subscription has increased by 9% annually in the last five years with up to 330 million subscriptions added. The report also indicated that there has been an increase in high speed fixed broadband subscriptions parallel to the growth in the number of fibre connections.

The report equally showed that international internet bandwidth grew by 32% between 2015 and 2016, with Africa registering an increase of 72% during this period, the highest of all regions.

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