Internet usage continued to gain ground across regions in Nigeria as it recorded 47.33 per cent penetration among 195 million Nigerians in 2018. Nigeria leads the African continent in internet usage going by the number of internet users in the country which increased to 92.3 million in 2018. The figure is projected to grow to 134.2 million users by 2020.
In Q4 2018, the number of active internet subscribers’ base grew by 13.54 percent year-on-year (YoY). Active internet subscribers’ base increased across the 6 geopolitical regions in Nigeria by 8.26 per cent in Q4 2018 from 103.5 million internet subscribers’ base in Q3 2018—the Telecoms Data report from National Bureau of Statistics revealed.
The total number of subscriptions by the 4 major network providers generally increased across regions in Q4 2018. MTN gained 2.97 million new subscriptions which amounted to 4.6 per cent of a total 67.1 million subscriptions; AIRTEL rose by 6.9 per cent to 44.2 million subscriptions; GLO by 10.8 per cent to 45.3 million subscriptions, and 9MOBILE by 3.7 per cent to 15.9 million subscriptions.
The multiplicity of active internet subscriptions which accumulated to 112.1 million was largely a shared contribution from the major network providers nationwide, where MTN alone had the highest contribution of 39.2 per cent to the total active internet subscriptions in the quarter. Unlike active voice subscribers, AIRTEL ranked 2nd with 26.6 per cent contribution while GLO, 9MOBILEand OTHERS contributed 25 per cent, 8.9 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively to the total active internet subscriptions in Q4 2018.
The number of active internet subscribers’ base in MTN, AIRTEL and GLO increased Quarter on Quarter (QoQ) by 8.48 per cent, 6.56 per cent and 2.26 per cent respectively to 43.9 million, 27.8 million and 28.1 million active internet subscribers respectively across the geopolitical zones in Q4 2018. In contrast, 9MOBILE and OTHERS network providers had 2.3 per cent and 1.7 per cent decline respectively in active internet subscribers’ base to 9.9 million and 433,000 active internet subscriptions within the same period.
The percentage contribution of each network provider across the regions presented in the chart below showed that 39.2 per cent of the total active internet subscribers were garnered by MTN. Similarly, AIRTEL internet subscribers accumulated 26.6 per cent of the total internet subscribers; GLO, 25 per cent; 9MOBILE, 839 per cent, and others contributed 0.4 per cent to the total active internet subscribers across the regions.
The analysis of the data within the region showed that MTN network provider dominated in all the 6 regions with the highest number of active internet subscriptions in Q4 2018. Following MTN is GLO and AIRTEL, which they both had high percentages of active internet subscriptions.
While GLO came next to MTN in the North Central, South-South and South West, AIRTEL was next to MTN in the North East, North West and South East. However, AIRTEL had 1.7 million active internet subscribers more than GLO across the regions. The least percentages of active internet subscriptions were recorded by the 9MOBILE and others network providers.
The analysis of the active internet subscriptions between regions where each network provider is entrenched showed that MTN had its peak active internet subscriptions in the South East; AIRTEL in the North East; GLO in the North Central; 9MOBILE in the South West and others in the South West.
In the North Central region, FCT had the highest number of active internet subscriptions accounting for 25.3 per cent of the total active subscription in the region; Bauchi in the North Eastern region with 20.3 per cent; Kano (North West), 31.22 per cent; Anambra (South East), 28.5 per cent; Rivers (South-South), 27.4 per cent, and Lagos State with 45.4 per cent contribution to the active internet subscriptions in the South West region.
On a state by state basis, the top 5 states in consecutive order ranked by the degree of activeness of internet subscriptions are Lagos in the South West region with 15.68 million subscribers, Ogun (South West), 6.60 millionsubscribers; Kano (North West), 5.84million subscribers; Oyo (South West), 5.79million subscribers, and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in the North Central with 5.22 million subscribers.
In contrast, the least 5 states ranked by the degree of active internet subscriptions are Jigawa State in the North West with 1.22 million subscribers; Yobe (North East), 1.17 million subscribers; Ekiti (South West), Ebonyi (South East), 905,000 and the least number of active internet subscriptions was recorded in Bayelsa in the SouthSouth region with 823,000 active internet subscriptions.
Across and within the regions, the Centre of Excellence—Lagos State recorded the highest number of internet subscribers in Q4 2018 representing 14.1 per cent and 45.4 per cent respectively. Data showed that the 34.56 million active internet subscribers in the South West region of the country which was the highest across regions, was accumulated due to the high percentage contribution of Lagos alone.
Following with a large gap is the North Central region with 20.63 million active internet subscribers. The North West, South-South and South East zones recorded 18.71 million active internet subscribers, 16.45 million active internet subscribers and 10.72 million active internet subscribers respectively in the last quarter of 2018. Across the regions, North East Nigeria recorded the least number of 9.79 million active internet subscribers.