Nigerians Spent 100.3 Billion Naira on Internet Data in 2020

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The 2020 subscriber/ network data report shows that Nigerians consumed 205,880.4terabytes (TB) worth of data, amounting to N100.3 billion

The Nigerian Communication Commission has released data on Nigeria’s telecommunications industry for 2020. 

According to the report, Nigeria’s telecommunications industry recorded a tremendous growth in 2020. The record shows that data usage in 2020 increased from 123,648 terabytes (TB) recorded in 2019 to whooping 205,880.4 terabytes (TB) in 2020, which is about 66.5% increase. Average data cost for the year under review was N487.18 per gigabyte (1GB), Nigerians spent N100.3 billion on internet data subscription.

The 2020 subscriber/ network data report shows that Nigerians consumed 205,880.4terabytes (TB) worth of data, amounting to N100.3 billion.

The total number of active internet subscriptions in like manner increased from 125.98 million subscriptions as of December 2019 to 154.29 million by the end of December 2020, representing an increase of 22.5%.

This resulted to increase revenue generated by GSM operators and internet service providers. The report revealed that GSM operators revenue increased by 12.33% from N2.02 trillion recorded in the previous year to N2.27 trillion in the period under review, while internet service providers generated a sum of N68.96 billion in revenues, up 28.31% compared to N53.75 billion recorded in 2019. 

“The Nigerian Telecom Industry witnessed significant growth that impacted positively in spite of the recession brought about by COVID-19. The sector lifted the economy out of recession in the fourth quarter of 2020, contributing 12.45% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” the report says.

Some Reasons for Increase in Internet subscription

The 66.5% upsurge in internet data subscription and consumption witnessed in 2020 is not unconnected to the Physical distancing measures that the government took to curtail the spread of Covid-19 in Nigeria. There were ban on gathering, and at a point, total nationwide lockdown.

During this period businesses adopted work from home policy. And this was made possible by the use of internet. Official functions where migrated to the internet, using virtual means.

As people where locked down in their homes, the had to keep themselves busy on the internet, interacting with, friends, family, associates that are physically separated from them. Every one was eager to get information concerning the havoc the pandemic causing round the globe. Internet was the easiest means of accessing information.

Seminars, conferences, religious services were held virtually. It was at that time that Zoom came to limelight, and the developer, Eric C. Yuan became billionaire overnight.

“The increase in data usage is directly linked to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted normal activities, and most functions had to be held virtually including schools, Corporate Meetings etc.,” the report stated further.

The report also  highlighted that mobile network operators (MNOs) received massive investments in the 4G rollout of services, which resulted in improved growth.

Meanwhile, as of the end of December 2020, out of a total of 546,023 users via ISPs, 4,032 users subscribed to speeds between 256Kbps and 2Mbps, representing 0.7% of the total user base; 21,985 users between 2 and 10Mbps, representing 4% of the total user base; and 520,006 subscriptions in the 10mbps & above category, which makes 95% of the total. 

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