The total number of internet subscriptions recorded across mobile, fixed wired and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) as at April 2020, reached 138.7 million.
This is however, as broadband penetration, which drives internet access and connectivity, dropped from 39.90 per cent in March 2020 to 39.58 per cent in April 2020, according to the latest statistics released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the telecoms industry regulator.
According to the statistics, both broadband and internet penetrations
maintained a steady rise in figure in the past one year, until broadband penetration slide to 39.58 per cent in April this year, from 39.90 in March this year.
While internet penetration is the population of the percentage of people that are connected to the internet through various devices like mobile phones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers, and through various technologies like Mobile GSM, Fixed Wired and VoIP, but broadband penetration is the high transmission capacity obtained from fibre optic cables that drives internet connectivity.
The NCC statistics, which was obtained from its website, showed that the bulk of internet connectivity came from the Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) technology, which is being offered by GSM operators like MTN, Globacom, Airtel, 9mobile, ntel, including core Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Spectranet, Swift Network, Smile, 21st Century among others.
From the statistics, the total internet subscriptions from a combination of mobile GSM, Fixed Wired and VoIP, reached 119.9 million in April 2019, but the figure rose to 123 million subscriptions in May 2019, before dropping slightly to 122.7 million subscriptions in June 2019.
The figure, however, picked up again in July 2019 to reach 123.07 million subscriptions, before sliding again to 122.98 million subscriptions in August 2019.
But in September 2019, the figure increased to 123.2 million subscriptions, with a subsequent increase to 123.6 million subscriptions in October 2019.
The subscription dropped slightly again in November 2019 to 122.9 million subscriptions before climbing again to 126.1 million subscriptions in December 2019.
In March 2020, the figure rose to 136.2 million subscriptions and it recorded another increase to reach 138.7 million internet subscriptions in April 2020.
The NCC statistics however, stated that broadband penetration dropped in April 2020, to 39.58 per cent from 39.90 per cent penetration it recorded in March 2020, after maintaining a steady growth penetration since June 2019.
In June 2019, broadband penetration was 33.31 per cent and in July 2019, it rose to 33.72 per cent, before climbing to 35.10 per cent in August 2019 and 35.40 per cent in September 2019.
In October 2019, broadband penetration deepened further to 37.87 per cent and in November 2019, broadband penetration decreased slightly to 37.71 per cent before climbing again to 37.80 per cent in December 2019.
In January 2020, broadband penetration increased to 38.49 per cent and in February and March 2020, it further increased to 39.58 per cent and 39.90 per cent respectively, before sliding slightly to 39. 58 per cent in April 2020.
In order to deepen broadband penetration in the country, the federal government came up with its first National Broadband Plan (2013-2018), with a target to achieve 30 per cent broadband penetration by December 2018.
Through the resilience of NCC, coupled with the efforts of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and ISPs, Nigeria was able to surpass 30 per cent broadband penetration in December 2018.
Pleased with the attainment of 30 per cent broadband penetration in 2018, government in 2020, came up with the second National Broadband Plan (2020-2025) with a target to achieve 70 per cent broadband penetration by 2025.