Nigeria ranks ninth largest country with Internet users in the world and the number one on the African continent.According to a report by digitXplus made available to The Guardian yesterday, China has the highest number of unique Internet users with 632 million subscribers. The USA is second with 269 million users. India, Japan, Brazil and Russia in the following: 198 million, 110 million, 105 million and 87 million.
Others are Indonesia (83 million), Germany (68 million) and Nigeria is in the ninth position at 63 million unique users. United Kingdom has 57 million; France 54 million, Mexico 52 million, Iran 49 million; Egypt 43 million and South Korea 42 million respectively.
The statistics are those of 2015. Current statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) put Internet users in Nigeria at 97 million. Users in Nigeria still run mainly on the narrow band.
Already, with mobile broadband estimated to have reached over 20 per cent, the country already targeted a 30 per cent broadband penetration by 2018.
The digitXplus publication revealed that since 2011, Nigeria has maintained a steady upward trend in the number of Internet users. It stated that from 35.7 million, the figure increased to 42.8 million; 51.8m; 57.7m and 63.2m Internet users in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively.
It puts the total number of Internet users worldwide at 3.2 billion as at December 2015; representing an increase of 8.9 per cent over 2.9 billion Internet users recorded at the end of 2014.
The Chief Executive Officer, digitXplus, Patrick Gomes, explained that most of the access to Internet in the region is through mobile devices. He said Facebook in the West and Central Africa is almost 50 million monthly active users; adding that the numbers speak about the size and strength of digital as a medium, which continues to grow year on year.
“At digitXplus, we endeavour to bring information about the region to fore, we now present the second edition of Digital Facts Book with an objective to organize information on digital medium in West and Central Africa, thus making it easily accessible and useful to all”, Gomes stated.Based on the regional statistics contained in the publication, Asia-Pacific had 1.6 billion Internet users as at December 2015.
While North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Central/Eastern Europe and Middle East/Africa boasted of 288 million; 325 million; 310 million; 238 million; and 429 million in that order.
The report further made public that the Nigerian telecommunications sector, one of the largest in Africa, is driven almost completely by mobile telephony.