According to data from the Nigerian Communications Commission, data use in Nigeria increased by 202.08 percent in three years.
Data use increased from 68,154.12 terabytes in 2018 to 125,149.86 terabytes in 2019 and 205,880.4 terabytes in 2020, according to subscriber/network data reports from 2018, 2019, and 2020.
In 2018, the total number of national and local outgoing voice calls was 121,935,927,123.15. The number of calls increased from 149,584,465,210 in 2018 to 150,825,830,687.40 in 2019.
According to the NCC, broadband penetration was at 31.48 percent in 2018. There were 47,325,726 active 3G connections, while there were 12,761,473 4G subscriptions.
Broadband penetration increased to 37.80% in 2019, with 50,441,608 active 3G connections and 21,712,216 active 4G connections.
Broadband penetration will be 45.02 percent in 2020, with total active 3G connections declining to 49,402,994 and 4G connections rising to 36,538,228.
GSM internet customers increased by 53,639,503 from 100,234,283 in January 2018 to 153,873,786 in December 2020 over the review period.
The company with the biggest market share was MTN. It had 37,201,086 internet subscribers in 2018, which increased to 59,594,891 in December 2020.
MTN made N164.79 billion from data and N674.78 billion from voice in 2018. Its data revenue went from N218.69 billion in 2019 to N332.37 billion in 2020, while its voice revenue rose from N723.92 billion to N766.39 billion.
The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the NCC, disrupted routine activity, and most functions had to pivot to virtual forms.
Ferdi Moolman, the former Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, commented, “The year 2020 was hard for all.” The COVID-19 pandemic, which wreaked havoc on the businesses and individuals we serve, presented us with new and difficult challenges.
“The impact is still evolving. As lockdowns and collecting restrictions were enacted, use of our data and digital services skyrocketed, and many people began working from home.”
“Our upgraded 4G network contributed to a rise in smartphone penetration, data customers, and up-take of big data volumes, leading in greater data consumption per customer,” Airtel stated in a study about the increase in data traffic.
“Data usage per subscriber increased to 2.6 GB (from 1.8 GB) as a result of increased smartphone penetration and the expansion of our home broadband and enterprise customers.
“We were able to increase data revenue by 31.2 percent in constant currency as a result of this. We were able to increase data ARPU by 8.2% by increasing the penetration and usage of 3G and 4G data clients. In Q4’21, fourth-generation data traffic more than doubled, accounting for 62.2 percent of total data usage on the network.”