Despite low broadband, Nigeria’s data usage rises by 413%

Despite boasting a less than 50 per cent broadband penetration, Nigeria’s data usage increased by 413.79 per cent as 41.38 million subscribers joined the nation’s Internet population in four years, according to data from the Nigerian Communications Commission.

Nigeria’s Internet data usage increased from 68,154.12 terabytes in 2018 to 350,165.39 terabytes in 2021 based on industry statistics from the NCC.

Within the time under review, broadband penetration increased from 19.97 per cent (38.12 million) in January 2018 to 40.88 per cent (78.04 million).

GSM Internet subscribers increased from 100.23 million in January 2018 to 141.62 million. Despite its low broadband penetration, Nigeria has made strides in expanding its broadband capacity.

When data usage increased from 68,154.12TB in December 2018 to 125,149.86TB as of December 2019, the NCC had said, “The increase in data usage is directly linked to the increased Broadband penetration in the country within the year.

‘The commission provided the necessary regulator support for Operators to implement the various initiatives within the year that increased data usage in the country.”

In 2020, when data consumption increased from 123,648TB in December 2019 to 205,880.4TB as of December 2020, the commission added, “The increase in data usage is directly linked to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted normal activities and most functions had to be held virtually including schools, corporate meetings etc.”


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