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Data consumption in Nigeria surged to 721,522 terabytes in January 2024 – NCC




The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has revealed that Nigerians used a total of 721,522 terabytes of data in January this year.

This came as the highest consumed data in a month since the Commission started publishing the statistics.

In December 2023, data consumption in the country was high due to increased activities during the festive period, which saw an increase to 713,200 terabytes, but this was still lower than the January record.

The increase in data consumption in January was recorded despite a decline in the number of internet users for the month. According to NCC’s data, internet subscriptions in Nigeria declined by 1.9 million from 163.8 million in December 2023 to 161.9 million in January 2024.

Source: NCC

The surge in data consumption is driven largely by the increase in the number of Nigerians switching to 4G and 5G connections, which offer faster speeds, thus increasing the megabytes of data consumed by the users.

Although the growth of 5G in Nigeria has been slow due to constraints such as device compatibility and forex scarcity for speedy expansion of infrastructure, telecom operators are committing more resources to boost their data offerings. This is based on the realization that subscribers are now demanding data services more than voice.

MTN launched the first 5G network in Nigeria in September 2022, while Airtel launched the same in June 2023. Mafab Communications, which secured the 5G licence at the same time as MTN could not roll out the service until late 2023 when it began to sell its routers.

MTN initially rolled out its 5G service in seven cities including Lagos Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Kano, Owerri, and Maiduguri and is currently expanding the service.

Airtel at launch in June last year rolled out the service in four states including Lagos, Abuja, Rivers, and Ogun with plans to roll out in six more states within the first year of the launch.

Mafab also launched its 5G service in Abuja with a promise that the first phase of its rollout would be in six cities across the country in fulfillment of the rollout obligations as contained in the licensing document.