By Omobayo Azeez
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Broadband penetration in Nigeria attained a new height of 39.58 per cent in February as against 38.49 per cent recorded in January, driven by increasing number of internet users in the country.
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According to the latest industry statistics released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the country’s telecoms regulator, total number of active users of internet in the country increased by 3.29 million to hit 132.01 million as at the end of February this year.
The regulator showed that of the total number, the Global Service for Mobile Communication (GSM) operators maintained their unchallenged domination of the market with 131.65 million users on the networks of mobile network operators (MNOs), including MTN, Globacom, Airtel and 9Mobile.
Other operators providing internet services in the country as captured by the NCC data apart from the GSM are Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and fixed netwok which have on their various networks as at the end of February, 353,780 and 9,866 users respectively.
In terms of new internet users recorded in the month by GSM operators, indigenous Globacom led the pack beating MTN Nigeria this time as Glo attracted 1.74 million new Internet users while MTN welcomed 0.96 million customers on its network.
Airtel Nigeria trailed with additional 0.67 million users coming on its network within the 28 days of February while 9Mobile, on the contrary, lost 100,000 customers to sustain its perpetual decline.
Consequently, MTN remained in its position as the operator with the highest internet users at 56.49 million, followed by Airtel which serves 36.17 million while Globacom and 9Mobile possess 30.95 million and 7.94 million active internet subscribers respectively.
Although data from Internet Live Stats suggest that as at Saturday May 9, the share of Nigerian population with access to internet hovers around 46.1 per cent, while the country’s share of world Internet users stood at 2.5 per cent as total users of internet in the world hit 3.425 billion.
This indicates that with internet penetration in the country standing at 43.1 per cent against 39.58 broadband penetration in the country, high speed internet is fast spreading to users.
According to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the broadband penetration refers to the amount of the Internet access market that high speed or broadband, which include at least 3G and 4G, Internet has captured.