Stories by JONAH NWOKPOKU
Nigeria has about 120 million mobile phone users. That is about 69 per cent mobile penetration. Out of these, 27 percent, about 27 million use smartphones, the rest, about 77 percent, still use dumbphones or feature phones. This is according to recent survey by Ericson.
At the moment, major internet penetration has been achieved through mobile and that largely accounts for the 8.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product that comes from the telecommunications sector.
However, with the dearth of data in Nigeria, it has always been difficult establishing what is driving the growth. It also makes it difficult to make empirically based prediction on economic progression.
Recently a technology innovation ecosystem, Co-creation Hub, conducted a local survey to determine what people at low end of the market do with their phones.
The survey highlights the crucial role that mobile plays in the e-commerce inclusion especially at the low of the market. It also buttresses the point that mobile remains a vibrant alternative with huge potential when it comes to all inclusive market penetration.
Proponents of mobile like the Finish mobile expert; Tomi Ahonen has propounded a theory on mobile which partly explained the trend observed during the survey. Called the ‘Grand Convergence’ theory, Ahonen .postulated that different media and media tools are converging on mobile resulting to what he termed the battle for the pocket.
The implication is that such media as computers, camera, internet, print, social media, advertising, broadcast, music, gaming etc are converging on mobile making it all the more irresistible.
The survey revealed that besides voice services, social media activities on Facebook and Whatsapp dominate usage of mobile phones. The survey studied 53 traders at the Sabo Yaba market in Lagos. They consisted of 29 females and 24 males.
Among what the survey studied included the kind of mobile phones mostly used by the respondents, network providers subscribed to, airtime top up range, action mostly performed, data plan subscribed to and mobile applications mostly used.
According to the results of the survey, 52 respondents representing 98.5 percent use their phones mostly for voice calls, 36 percent use Facebook while 30 percent use Whatsapp. This is followed by Blackberry messenger, BBM, 2go, Twitter and Instagram with 22, 14, and 8 percents respectively. The survey also showed that young people between the age of 26 and 35 constitute the majority of mobile phone users as 44 percent of those surveyed fall within that age bracket while 38 percent fall in between 18 and 25.
It also showed that Nokia and Tecno dominated that segment of the market with 38 percent each while MTN and Airtel led in network subscription with 48 and 42 percent respectively.
Also covered in the survey is data usage which stood at 54 percent.