Visible y/y increase in internet subscriptions

The latest data released by the NCC, the industry regulator, show that internet subscriptions stood at 104.6 million in August, representing y/y growth of 14%. The figure implies density of 57% in a population estimated at 185 million, placing Nigeria well above the African average of around 16% as indicated by McKinsey.


  • In August there were 957,000 new internet subscriptions recorded, compared with 867,000 the previous month. The m/m increase recorded in total internet subscriptions could be loosely linked to increased patronage of dual-SIM mobile phones; sometimes both SIMs are connected to separate data packages.


  • MTN accounted for the largest share (38%) of total subscriptions. Meanwhile, Globacom and 9Mobile accounted for 26% and 10% respectively. The latter recorded a m/m decrease of -1.2%.


  • Since August 2017, 9mobile (formerly Etisalat) internet subscription has declined successively. It recorded 126,000 losses in August, compared with -218,000 the previous month. According to some subscribers within the network, service has slipped but remains relatively stable.
Internet subscriptions (% chg; m/m)

Sources: Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); FBNQuest Capital Research
  • Nigeria’s internet presence is heavily dependent upon mobile services, particularly in the rural areas that have some exposure to the internet. The FGN targets broadband penetration of 30% by end-2018 (from the current 22%). We understand that the FGN has approved deployment of 18,000 kilometres of fibre cable across specific states. Nigeria currently has about 38,000 kilometres of fibre (32% of total requirement).


  • Huge investments in telecommunications infrastructure are required to drive broadband availability, accessibility and affordability in Nigeria. Typically, the average cost of a monthly data package is N5, 000, which accounts for 28% of the national minimum wage.



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