Nigeria's telecommunication industry recorded significant growth in 2020, as Nigerians spent over N100 billion on internet subscriptions.
In the 2020 subscriber/network data report released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), it was discovered that Nigerians consumed a total of 205,880.4 terabytes of browsing data in the said period. Using the average cost of 1GB of data at N487.18, as announced by the NCC in 2020, Nigerians spent not less than N100.3 billion on internet data in the review year.
The report revealed that data usage surged 66.5 percent year-on-year from 123,648 terabytes recorded in 2019, and that broadband penetration peaked at 45.93% within the year.
As a result, revenue generated by GSM operators increased by 12.33% from N2.02 trillion recorded in the previous year to N2.27 trillion in the review period, while internet service providers generated a sum of N68.96 billion in revenues, up 28.31% compared to N53.75 billion recorded in 2019.
The pandemic forced a lifestyle change for most Nigerians as people had to adopt new ways to stay productive while on lockdown. This led to increased leveraging on the internet to operate virtually as meetings, seminars, and other events and functions were conducted online.
Also, there was increased social media usage during the lockdown as people spent more of their time on their devices, seeking entertainment and engagement.
As of the end of December 2020, out of a total of 546,023 users via ISPs, 4,032 users subscribed to speeds between 256Kbps and 2Mbps, representing 0.7% of the total user base; 21,985 users between 2 and 10Mbps, representing 4% of the total user base; and 520,006 subscriptions in the 10mbps & above category, which makes 95% of the total.
The total number of active internet subscriptions also increased from 125.98 million subscriptions as of December 2019 to 154.29 million by the end of December 2020, representing an increase of 22.5%.