COVID-19 spikes remote work, online education adoption

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the implementation of online education at schools and universities as well as remote work in Nigeria increased to 72 per cent and 62 per cent respectively.

But going forward, online education and remote work are collectively expected to remain at a level of 29 per cent. This is according to the Global Telecom Market Report (GTM), also known as “The Future of Urban Reality Report”. The report was recently launched by the Ericsson ConsumerLab. It was, however, explained deeply at a virtual meeting on Tuesday.

The report noted that before the COVID-19 pandemic, the amount of online shopping in Nigeria stood at 35 per cent out of the total number of all shopping events, both online and at physical stores. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, this figure increased to 51 per cent.

Nigerian consumers, according to Ericsson, anticipate their habits around online shopping will remain at a level of 44 per cent after the COVID-19 pandemic has passed.

In the other report, the 20th edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report looked at the future of 5G in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and around the world.

The report featured breakout statistics from sub-Saharan African markets where around 15 per cent of mobile subscriptions were for 4G at the end of 2020. Ericsson observed that the net addition of mobile subscriptions was quite low during Q1 2021, at 59 million, stressing that this is likely due to the pandemic and associated lockdown restrictions.

According to it, India had the most net additions (+26 million), followed by China (+6 million) and Nigeria (+3 million). It projected that mobile broadband subscriptions in SSA – are predicted to increase, reaching 76 per cent of mobile subscriptions by 2026, however, 5G volumes are not expected to grow in the region for 2021 but are likely to reach around 70 million 5G subscriptions in 2026.

The report gave key insights into what Nigerian consumers believe will happen beyond the pandemic, into the year 2025, by surveying a sample of 1,000 to 2,000 respondents between the ages of 15–79.

The report found that when entering the “next to normal”, consumers in Africa would have added an average of 3.4 online services to their daily online activities, while also increasing the time they spend online by 10 hours per week by 2025, in comparison to their pre-pandemic habits.

This move is also expected to bridge the gap between moderate and advanced online users, with the more moderate online users having introduced more online services in their daily life over the course of the pandemic.

Country Manager of Ericsson Nigeria, Sean Cryan, said: “Positioned as the third-highest mobile subscriptions additions in Q1 2021 globally, Nigeria is growing tremendously setting #AfricaInMotion. The growth can be attributed to the young, growing population, the increasing digital skills, and the more affordable smartphones.

“Correspondingly, this growth is reflected in the online habits of the country where the dependency on online activities for daily tasks is expected to remain high in the future.”

Ericsson has found that despite the uncertainty caused by COVID-19, service providers continue to switch on 5G, and more than 160 service providers have launched commercial 5G services.


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