What’s the future of mobile data in Nigeria?

What's the future of mobile data in Nigeria?

Nigeria is one of the largest and fastest growing “mobile first” countries in the world. However, only around 38% of Nigerians access mobile data. And, in reality, this number is likely to be significantly lower when considering those who regularly access the internet on their phones.

Recently, I talked to CNBC Africa about the future of mobile data in Nigeria.

What are the barriers?

In Nigeria 90% of the population has a mobile phone, but smartphone ownership remains low, meaning that most Nigerians use handsets that are not data-enabled.

Education is also a factor: like most of us, Nigerians grapple with questions like “What is a megabyte?” and “How many Wikipedia pages can I browse for 10MB?”.

One of the biggest barriers is cost: mobile data remains expensive for most people and, while prices are beginning to come down, there is still a long way to go.

How is Opera helping to break down these barriers?

Nigeria is our third-biggest market in terms of Opera Mini users, but we want to connect even more Nigerians online. Opera Mini is a mobile browser that works on basic phones and smartphones. What makes it special is its compression technology — it shrinks webpages, text and video so that less data is used compared to usual consumption. This can make it more affordable for users and encourage them to get online.

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