Report: Nigeria Records High Internet Usage, Low Download Speed

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By Emma Okonji

A recent report published by We Are Social and Hootsuite has shown that Nigeria maintains high record of internet usage, but with very low download speeds.

According to the report, the download speeds could be attributed to the capacity of devices used for downloads as well as the type of internet connectivity services provided by Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

According to the report, with a population of over 208 million people in Nigeria, the total number of internet users is 104.4 million, which is about 50 per cent of the population, yet the average download speed of mobile internet connections is as low as 18.4 megabytes per second (mbps) and the average download speed of fixed internet connections is also as low as 16.07 mbps.

The figures explained better why download speeds are slow, especially when it has to do with heavy files.

The report titled: ‘Digital 2021,’ showed country-by- country usage of internet, social media, mobile devices and e-Commerce.

Giving details of mobile internet users in Nigeria, it stated that a total of 97.38 million people connected to the internet through various cellular devices and WiFi as of January 2021, while 93.3 per cent of the population connected to the internet via mobile devices and 92.4 per cent connected via smartphones and only 2.4 per cent connected via feature phones.

The report further noted that as of January 2021, 82.1 per cent of web traffic was shared through mobile phones, while 16.9 per cent of web traffic was shared through laptops and desktops computers, and only 1.1 per cent of web traffic was shared through tablet computers.

The figures for web traffic that were shared with the use of devices are, however, different from the figures for web traffic that were shared through various browsers, as chrome browser recorded 55 per cent; Safari browser recorded give per cent; Firefox browser recorded 2.8 per cent; Samsung Internet recorded 1.1 per cen; Microsoft Edge browser recorded 0.9 per cent; Opera browser recorded 32.8 per cent, while Internet Explorer browser recorded 0.1 per cent, as at January 2021.

Ranking the top websites that were most visited and recorded more traffic as at December 2020, the report said Google had a total visit of 220 million with a unique visit of 15.5 million; Bet9ja had a total visit of 86.1 million with 6.83 million unique visits; Facebook had a total of 48.1 million visits, with 8.06 million unique visits; Nairaland had a total of 30.1 million visits, with 30.09 unique visits; YouTube had a total of 25.6 million visits, with 6.03 million unique visits.

In the area of social media, the report stated that a total of 33 million people were active in the use of social media in Nigeria as at January 2021, which it puts at 15.8 per cent of the total population of Nigeria.

The report, however, put the total number of active social media users that access their social media platforms via mobile phones at 32.74, which shows that in Nigeria, the majority of social media users access their social media platforms via mobile phones.

It profiled the advertising audience of social media platforms and concluded that men advertises more than women, year-in-year-out with a clear margin. The report also ranked the most-used social media platform in Nigeria as at January 2021, with WhatsApp taking the lead with 93 per cent, followed by Facebook with 86.2 per cent; YouTube with 81.6 per cent; Instagram with 73.1 per cent; Facebook Messenger with 67.2 per cent; Twitter with 61.4 per cent; Telegram with 56.3 per cent, and Linkedin with 32.8 per cent, among others.

The report also looked at the financial inclusion factors that are driving e-Commerce in Nigeria, and projected that 39.7 per cent of the total population of Nigeria, has an account with financial institutions, while only 2.6 per cent has credit cards, and 5.6 per cent has mobile money account, a development that puts the percentage of those that purchase online and pay bills online, at 6.3 per cent.

The report also put the percentage of women with credit cards at 1.7 per cent and 3.4 per cent for men.

Ranking e-Commerce growth among various categories, the report said 59.6 per cent of the total population of Nigeria, purchases food items and personal care online, followed by fashion and beauty products at 44 per cent; travel mobility and accommodation at 42.9 per cent; toys and hobbies at 42.4 per cent; furniture and appliances at 40.3 per cent; digital music at 39.8 per cent; video games at 35.4 per cent and electronics and physical media at 34.5 per cent.