The latest data released by the NCC, the industry regulator, show that internet subscriptions stood at 113.9 million in January, representing y/y growth of 11%. The figure implies density of 61% in a population estimated at 185 million, placing Nigeria well above the African average of around 16% as indicated by McKinsey. In January there were 2.24 million new internet subscriptions recorded, compared with 3.18 million the previous month. To ensure uninterrupted connectivity, subscribers tend to pay for more than one data package across multiple networks.
- MTN accounted for the largest share (40%) of total subscriptions. Since June 2018, MTN has recorded m/m increases in its internet subscriptions. For January, there was a month-on-month increase of 4.6%. The network recorded 2.0 million new internet subscriptions.
- Amongst the mobile network operators, MTN and Airtel recorded the highest m/m increases in internet subscription while 9mobile and Globacom recorded declines of -0.4% and -1.6% respectively.
- According to the CBN, about 39 million adults are financially excluded in Nigeria, meanwhile the country’s population continues to grow steadily at a rate of 3.0% y/y. An upward trend in internet subscriptions via mobile network operators creates an opportunity to boost financial inclusion through mobile money services.
Internet subscriptions (% chg; m/m)
Sources: Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); FBNQuest Capital Research
- The latest data on electronic payments released by the National Bureau of Statistics shows that mobile payments accounted for only 4.2% of total volume of electronic payments in Q4 2018.
- The sector still requires significant investment in telecommunications infrastructure to drive broadband (and internet) penetration as well as affordability for data packages. However, to deepen financial inclusion through mobile money payment services, there also needs to be increased collaboration between telecommunication operators and banks.