Internet goes mobile in Nigeria as 95% access broadband on Smartphones

by Daniel Ojabo

June 14, 2015 | 12:21 am
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Smartphone penetration in Nigeria continues to soar as consumers demand internet access everywhere. According to recent research by Ericsson ConsumerLab, more than 95 percent of mobile broadband users in the country access mobile broadband on smartphones.

According to the research, mobile phones have the highest device share of internet services. Nigeria has one of the world’s largest mobile subscriber markets and the availability of more low-cost smartphones is also fuelling growth in data traffic.

Smartphone shipments to Nigeria soared 135 percent year-on-year (y/y) in 2014, spurred by the increased availability of low-cost models and dual-SIM devices according to Q4 2014 Handsets Tracker released by International Data Corporation (IDC).

The Ericsson ConsumerLab report also revealed that 84 percent of smartphones were connected to the internet with 82 percent of mobile phone users accessing the internet with their device on a daily basis.

Latest statistics from the national regulator, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) revealed that the number of active Internet subscribers that access to the Web through GSM networks rose from 63 million in February 2014 to just over 83 million as at February 2015 – Nigeria has indeed leapfrogged PC-based internet browsing and is the true leader of mobile-first and mobile-only.

Nigeria currently leads with the highest mobile data traffic with 77 percent of the traffic coming from its 83 million large internet user base ahead of India and South Africa according to BusinesDay analysis of Q1 2015 statistics from independent web analytics firm StatCounter.

“With mobile data traffic estimated to grow 17 times by 2019 and Nigeria currently holding the highest number of mobile subscriptions in sub-Saharan Africa, superior network performance is imperative”, said Magnus Mchunguzi, Vice President, Ericsson sub-Saharan Africa, while speaking at the recent launch of 4G/LTE network in Lagos by Smile Communications.

Strong demand for mobile data services in Nigeria saw South African-based group, MTN record a 20 percent jump in net profit in 2014 from the previous year. Data-usage revenue jumped by 33 percent to account for nearly a fifth of MTN’s overall revenue as more subscribers than ever before consume data on smartphones, MTN said.

The growth of smartphones in Africa, the second largest and fastest phone market today, is no longer news. Smartphone penetration in Nigeria today is arguably the highest in the world.

“In the last four years it has become a lot easier and cheaper to get the Internet on your phone. It isn’t exclusive anymore,” said Adebola Williams of StateCraft, a leading political and governance communication firm in a recent interview with Reuters.

Smartphone penetration in the Nigeria will continue to rise as consumers demand Internet access everywhere. According to the study conducted by Cisco, average smartphone usage grew 45 percent in 2014. The average amount of traffic per smartphone in 2014 was 819 MB per month, up from 563 MB per month in 2013.

By 2019, aggregate smartphone traffic will be 10.5 times greater than it is today, with a CAGR of 60 percent. The average smartphone will generate 4.0 GB of traffic per month by 2019, a fivefold increase over the 2014 average of 819 MB per month.

According to the mobile data usage study conducted by Cisco, “Overall mobile data traffic is expected to grow to 24.3 exabytes per month by 2019, nearly a tenfold increase over 2014”, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 57 percent. The Middle East and Africa will have the strongest mobile data traffic growth of any region with a 72 percent CAGR.

The Nigerian market, a price-sensitive market, is now seeing growth in mobile phone ownership together with the availability of low cost smartphones. With many users owning more than one phone, subscriber numbers are expected to grow to more than 200 million in 2017, according to London-based research company Informa Telecoms & Media.


Daniel Ojabo

by Daniel Ojabo

June 14, 2015 | 12:21 am
  |     |     |   Start Conversation

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