Nigeria leads African mobile web usage – Opera

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Mobile Web in Nigeria
Mobile Web in Nigeria

Johannesburg, November 3, 2011, Nigeria is the fifth-largest country in the world for Opera Mini browser usage and that is expected to increase even further with the recently-released co-branded MTN and Opera Mini offering. Nigeria is far ahead of major players like China, the United States and Brazil for the number of Opera Mini browser users.

In the past year, Nigeria experienced 634.3% growth in the number of Opera Mini users and 547.7% growth in the number of webpages viewed each month. Nigerian mobile web users are busy too, with the average user viewing 345 pages each month.

Around 90% of Nigerian mobile surfing is done using Opera Mini.

The top four sites for Nigerian mobile surfers are Facebook, Google, Yahoo! and the BBC. Opera Mini is the most popular mobile browser in Nigeria and the browser of choice for 73% of all mobile web users in Africa.

Not only does Opera Mini deliver a faster Web to almost any phone, it also cuts data costs by compressing webpage data before pages are delivered, while retaining all the functionality of a normal webpage. In a nutshell, this gives Nigerians the ability to view almost nine times as much content on their phones as with their existing browser – for the same price.

Opera Mini works on more than 3,000 different mobile-phone models, from basic feature phones to the latest smartphones.

Existing Opera Mini users on the MTN network in Nigeria will be automatically updated to the new version when they run Opera Mini. Users can also download Opera Mini directly to their phones at


  1. It is not necessarily because Opera is superior to uc Mobile that it enjoys more widespread use.

    It is simply because it is better known.has better funding. Had a head start.

    Most people who get exposed to uc Mobile see it as being able to challenge the Opera Dy-Nasty.

    Apart from aesthetics (in zoom mode ONLY), am yet to see one thing Opera does convincingly and vastly better than uc Mobile. Not one!
    Me- i am sticking with uc Mobile. I think (know!) it does a superior job. JUST my opinion…

  2. I will be downloading the UC browser just to see if what eye.bee.kay is sayign is correct. I have been enjoying the opera mini especially while glo data has been running slower than snail speed. it delivers well and help me save a lot of data.

    I will let you all know my findings after all

  3. Opera mini is just the best… I have tried all other mobile browsers and spent quality time with them… And my conclusion is that opera mini remains number one followed by bolt browser i will put ucweb to third position on the list…… The truth is that they all have one or two advantage(s) over each other…. Like if u want best data compressing fast turbo speed http/socket browsing u can count on opera….. If u want to stream videos like youtube and so on with good quality internet surfing u can count on bolt…. The only interesting thing about ucweb is the powerful download manager that has the ability to resume ur downloaded file, if u exit the browser or u shut down ur mobile buh surfing with it is a total pain in neck coz it wont open web pages properly like opera and bolt but can try a bit on wap or mobile sites

  4. well peeps I know with hi-end phones don’t use opera mini. I stop using it about 2yrs ago but stopped permanently some 15 months ago because it cannot play videos, cannot pop-up windows and so on…

    Basically the cheaper the smart phone the better opera mini is and that will explain why Nigeria is on top cos I believe the numbers of cheap smartphones outnumbers that of any country five times if not more.
    Opera better open office in Nigeria, with this kind of revelation their HQ better be relocated.

    I use opera Mobile by the way and it still does not play video but passes it to my video player which does the job

  5. For people who may want to give uc mobile a try, see different platform versions @

    Urn the ‘mobile ‘ mode.

    Assess (viz-a-viz Opera Mini) on download management, compression rate, interface intuition, website compatibility and speed.

    Also see , (for the purpose of awareness only))…

    The Opera Mini fans should note that the more recent versions of uc mobile are dramatically improved over the older versions. You may manu to re-evaluate dispassionately…

  6. If you have not been using opera mini on your smart phone you dont know what you are missing especially opera mobile…you cant compare any mobile browser with it including bolt, uc browser, skyfire, sharkfish…which ive used widely,…..try opera mobile on your large screen touch phone and youll forget other browser. Uc browser is better and good for downloading but opera is still the best.

  7. @ebunma, Just for the records, SkyFire is the best browser. I started using Opera mobile because SkyFire removed Nigeria from their support list. The skyfire homepage with all those feeds will forever be missed and as soon as they include Ngr am off opera’s dick

  8. I think UC browser is better than opera mini. It has these features that i’m sure opera lacks. First of all,web pages saved on UC browser are kept in a folder on your phone. In the event that the browser is ‘accidentally’ uninstalled, the folder remains. This enables one to still view those pages with another installed browser.

    Secondly, there’s the copy feature. The font of the whole page or segments of a page could be copied & pasted on another word app(notes) so to speak. I’m very familiar with these features on my phone, & i’m not sure if applies to all phone grades. That’s my take

  9. I have been using the UC Browser8 for some hours now and its really cool. I still believe the opera mini is a bit faster though. The UC browser is sort of sharper. The prints and the images. The cursor indicator also allows a magnified view while draging it to place in between characters. I have not downloaded using it though. One problem i have is getting my keyboard predictions up while using the UC browser. I have checked all through the settings and couldnt see where to enable it.

    @Douglas, Opera mini and the likes can be very useful on our high-end smartphones when our telcos decide to give us slow connection. Opera mini has been very helpful all this while glo has been down in the past two months. The stock browser, opera mobile, dolphin HD, skyfire e.t.c will take forever to open what opera mini/ UC browser will do in a split second. AT the same time , saving you over 70% of data usage. Great apps i say.

  10. nothing beats Opera mini for mobile internet, it has the best all round features.
    1. Design wise it makes UC Browser look like a crayons drawing next to it..
    2. It preserves the look and feel of most webpages better than most of it’s competitors.
    3.The Opera link feature, I’ve been using it to keep my bookmarks safe and synced across my phones & laptop since 2008.

  11. Opera mini 6.5 has been acting up recently. It takes forever to open a web page hence the reason am using uc web now. Uc web has really improved.

  12. I really do think that lots of smartphone owners in Nigeria – high-end phones inclusive – still use Opera Mini to cut down on data costs.

    Opera saw this need among smartphone users years ago and produced a version for each smartphone platform.

    It isn’t true that high-end phones don’t need Opera Mini.

  13. Of course all phone categories need a server-assisted mobile browser like Uc Mobile / Opera Mini.

    If u are so rich that you do not mind throwing you’re money away (or have an unlimited data plan, how aout the speed gain (as a result of extreme compression?)

    I think the real reason Opera Mini is so popular is because progressively more people are accessing the net via mobiles.

    It is a cheaper alternative to cybercafes here, and definitely beats browsing on a laptop – in terms o fcist

    I submit that uc Web is catching fire gradually-worldwide.
    Ooera needs to take a hard look at what these Chinese developers are doing..

  14. try creating an email account with opera mini or try chatting on your facebook homepage like you do on pc or try visiting pages with audio and pages with banners that slides, flip and do all those stunt. Opera mini sucks but of cos itx very good do reading the webpage. Some of us put quality over cash. I stopped the mini drama with v5 and can’t speak on the newer versions but opera mobile is equally fast probably cos of my location but I pray not to have any reason to return to opera mini

  15. Rather that speaking extemporaneously, I decided to list the specific reasons why I prefer that Uc Browser (UC) over Opera Mini (OM). I will also list the few advantages OM has over UC. Please note that I am talking about the latest versions of both browsers on Symbian Touchscreen. I am taking practically, rather than than parroting what others are saying.

    DOWNLOADING : Downloading is something we all agree about – as UC’s strength over OM. It is only recently Opera Mini added ‘download_resume’ capability. UC has been doing this for long. UC is so good at this that if your phone powers off while downloading, UC resumes successfully. After downloading, you can open / install the downloaded file (if natively supported by the phone!)

    COPYING : Copying screen content from touchscreen phones is something UC does beautifully. It can do ‘free copy’, ‘selected text’, ‘selected link’, ‘current screen’, ‘whole page’ and /page address’. To cap it, what UC copies ‘persists;. I can exit (even switch off the phone), and those things are still available!
    OM has only recently done a half_baked – “me_too” – implementation that really sucks!
    USER INTERFACE / UX : User Interface is where UC also shines over OM. I press on the screen for three seconds, and a context_sensitive menu pops up. Apart from from the recent screen_copy implementation on OM, there is no other context_sensitive implementation on OM! It makes using UC so much more convenient.

    DATA COMPRESSION : Data compression efficiency is a very key function of any server_assisted mobile browser. Uc generally compresses better that OM. By a long shot. I actually measured this using data_monitoring tooks like mconnection. It is even easier to do now because UC (an copycat OM) has a page where u can check data compression.

    RENDERING SPEED : Speed is something difficult to measure, as it is subject to too many factors, and may also be quite subjective. But UC is definitely not a laggard. The most recent versions are even speedier that ever – due to to server optimizations, opening most pages in about 3 – 4seconds. In my view, UC equal / surpasses OM in speed. Actually, one of the reasons why UC is often speedier is because it strives to compress better, often sacrificing page quality.

    AESTHETICS : In aesthetics, OM has an edge over UC – in the ‘zoom mode’.
    However, in the ‘mobile mod’ [which is what I use almost permanently), UC has bigger fonts (easier on the eyes). When OM APPEARS TO switch to landscape, it does not actually switch the phone to landscape (as UC does). This means that when I connect my phone’s Tv-Out to a bigscreen Tv, the output comes out wrong.- an unforgivable lapse. UC actually switches the phone screen_orientation to landscape, ensuring that apps like ‘Swype’ also switch accordingly. Try these things out, then get back to me!
    FILE MANAGER : UC has a functional file manager. OM does not
    BOOKMARKING : UC handles on_phone bookmarking better. However, OM’s synchronization across multiple devices is the bomb.

    NIGHT MODE : UC has ‘night mode’ to protect your eyes when browsing in darkness. OM does not.

    SCREEN THEMES : There are downloadable screen themes for UC . None for OM
    SCREEN SNAPSHOT : The latest Chinese ( as well as an English_modded) version of UC allows you take a snapshot of your phone screen in jpg format. Handy. OM lacks it
    SERVER UPTIME : UC is sometimes overwhelmed by the number of page demands. It is a smaller outfit than Opera. Not as better_funded. Smaller number of server_centers. This used to be a big problem, but is less common now – as they get better funding. OM is my alternative browser when this happens, and this is the ONLY reason I still have OM installed on my phone.
    These are the reasons why I prefer UC to OM, and consider UC far superior to UC. So, for the nay_sayers, there it is!
    If any of the OM ‘fanboys’ has superior arguments, let them come forth with counter_FACTs – or forever be QUIET!

  16. mhen this is a full review worthy to be featured if you ask me. You forgot to mention that om is more user friendly as it mimic a regular desktop browser

  17. (
    try creating an email account with opera mini or try chatting on your facebook homepage like you do on pc or try visiting pages with audio and pages with banners that slides,

    Douglas, we all kniw that there is no mobile browser in existence That allows you do ALL that a full[_blown desktop browser would allow you do. For those things you mentioned, you need a true desktop browser.

    Even so called SjyFire, bolt and Opera Mobile with more suppirt for web techs -would fail. Their failure may also be OS related (like if your phone OS does not suppirt flash). It would then not be the browser’s fault..

    Surely, a bicycle can not do the work of a minbus, abi?

  18. I noticed that the statistics given for % saved data on both opera mini and UC browser tend to favour opera mini most times. After clearing existing stats. I try opening same web pages on both and go checking the statistics. Opera mini gets to save like 10 – 15% more from the pages downloaded.

    I also noticed a problem with opera mobile while using it on MTN connection, it some times refuses to load pages. Even though they have their logos all uo on the home page. I thought MTN’s issue with opera mini has been resolved? I never get such problems when on Glo connection.

  19. (
    I noticed that the statistics given for % saved data on both opera mini and UC browser tend to favour opera mini most times
    I think a more rigorous approach is to use an independent data monitoring app to Meter data usage.

    It is not impossible for the statistix reported- by either of UC / OM- to be faulty, or worse still -doctored!

    Besides, it would be necessary to use a number of sites before judging the data compression efficiency…

  20. Just for the records, I chat on my facebook homepage while browsing with opera mobile 11.50 I also did with opera mobile 10, 11, 11.1 and the current 11.50
    When it comes to videos, opera mobile 11.5 throws it at my local video player but it handles audio directly on the browser and I used it to open a mail for a cousin and with v11.5 no need to worry about the website switching to the mobile version for whatever reason.

    Sorry I forgot… We’re talking about opera mini!

  21. (
    Just for the records, I chat on my facebook homepage while browsing with opera mobile 11.50 I also did with opera mobile 10, 11, 11.1 and the current 11.50
    You chat. But, do you chat the way YOU DO ON PC?i mean you send a msg and get your response immediately , on Opera Mobile?

    and I used it to open a ma il for a cousin and with v11.5 no need to worry about the website switching to the mobile version for whatever reason.
    Your (in)ability to open an email account is not necessarily a limitation / superiority of the browser being used. It is more based on the policy of the mail administrators to (dis) allow such an activity on the mobile version of their website.. MERELY tweaking user agents
    may actually bypass such policies.
    That said, There are lots of things OPERA mobile handlles Thait are out of the league of browsers like bolt, uc mobile and opera mini

    ANd there are things That no mobile browser can handlel ike a fullblown desktop browser..

  22. @Eye.Bee.Kay

    DATA COMPRESSION : Data compression efficiency is a very key function of any server_assisted mobile browser. Uc generally compresses better that OM . By a long sot. I actually measured this using data_monitoring tooks like mconnection . It is even easier to do now because UC (an copycat OM ) has a page where u can check data compression.

    One thing I think is undisputed is that UCBrowser has much more features than Opera Mini.

    My main attraction for Opera Mini browser is its superior web page compression. Maybe UCBrowser could be better in page compression on Symbian platform because I’m yet to observe that superiority on all the feature phones I’ve used, and also on my Android device.

    Page compression ratio is very important to me in choosing a server assisted mobile browser and I’ve always tried to measure the relat ive page compression of every server assisted mobile browser I’ve tried, and Opera Mini has consistently remained the best in terms of data compression.

    There was a time this argument of which of Opera Mini and UCBrowser is better in page compression and I explained how I arrived at my conclusion that Opera Mini is better and you successfully injected doubt in my mind that my method could be unreliable.

    I’m still using ZDBox which can only measure to tens of KB. So to minimize the effect of this, I had to choose sample web pages carefully, that is pages that are at least more than 100KB in size with images turned off. For this page,, Opera Mini used less than 10KB to download it while UCBrowser used over 60KB to download same web page. In each browser, images were turned off while both were also in mobile view settings. I did this up to three times and also tried other pages from wikipedia and opera mini did a whole lot better than UCBrowser. Any one doubting my results can check the page above and also try Android Operating system, symbian operating system, WiFi or Nigeria from Wikipedia and see for themselves.

    Please do remember that the reason for turning off images is to make the results more objective because image quality could be very subjective.

    Again, I would welcome link to any web pages large enough to eliminate the factors I mentioned earlier, that is, my data counter measures in tens of KB.

  23. @Harry, i have just conducted a data compression comparison between UC mobile and ooera mini on symbian s60v5.

    Guess what? Uc won-again!

    I did the test setting both browser to mobile mode, no graphics.
    Did the test on my Nokia’s 5800

    I used a thirdparty app (‘mconnection’) to monitor data usage (what did u use, by the way?)

    I used your sample site –

    Uc mobile returned SEVENTEEN kilobytes

    Opera mini returned TWENTY SIX kilobytes.

    Browser details…

    Uc mobile

    EN Translated by Rifatspir) Version:-UCBrowser V8.1.0.104 S60V5 pf50 (us-en) beta (Build11102816)
    Date: 2011-10-28

    Opera mini

    version 6.5 (Symbian 6 _ just released two weeks ago)).

  24. Maybe the compression rate differs according to platform- like you said?

    But my Penn discovery on Symbian is that uc mobile Almost ALWAYS outperforms Opera mini in data compression prowess..

  25. @Eye.Bee.Kay

    I used ZDBox, an Android app that does a host of other things including task manager, application manager, app lock, digital battery level indicator etc.

    It monitors data usage but counts in MB to 2 decimal places, and that means in tens of KB. Again, just to support that the value I’m getting from my data counter is not wrong, it always tends to agree with the values recorded by Opera Mini. The value of less than 10KB was also what I was getting with my feature phones that is the java version of Opera Mini.

    My version of Opera Mini as you can see above is version 6.5.26571 for Android while my UCBrowser is version 7.8.0 for Android.

    Finally, assuming the values recorded with Opera Mini can be relied upon, then compression ratio I’ve been getting hovers between 87% – 94%, while the overall ratio stands at 92% presently.

  26. Well, even if Opera mini has better compression rate than UC Mobile (which is not so by my research on Symbian), i feel the other numerous benefits of UC Mobile over Opera Mini makes it a (far) better deal. At least on the Symbian versions – in ‘mobile mode’.

    UC claims they achieve compression rates of between 90% – 97%. That is good enough..

  27. UC has some settings that doesnt come by default on S60v3..infact it doesnt go thru server compressions at all unless u activate this settings. I guess thesame problem is what harry is facing on android. Now here is it. Go to settings >> preferences >> scroll to advanced tab >> turn on ‘wap access via
    server’….turn off wap preload and www preload

  28. Since i discovered this just recently, UC has comfortably beaten opera on compression..but still not on aesthetics..

    By the way. I dont know the bug that has kept Me from commenting on this particular sort since 2days now. I have been trying severally and it keeps saying ‘pls enter a valid email’, i had to logging to finally comment. oga yomi pls do something oo!

  29. @Olushina Ayeni

    UC has some settings that doesnt come by default on S60 v3 .. infact it doesnt go thru server compressions at all unless u activate this settings. I guess thesame problem is what harry is facing on android . Now here is it . Go to settings >> preferences >> scroll to advanced tab >> turn on ‘wap access via server’… .turn off wap preload and www preload

    I’m aware of these settings and in fact apart from launching any application, settings is the first thing I go into after installation of any application.

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