In the third quarter of 2023, two of Nigeria’s leading telecom companies, MTN and Airtel made a combined N403.2 billion from providing data services to their customers.
Between July and September this year, MTN, Nigeria’s biggest telecom operator by number of subscribers, made N279.5 billion from data services, a 38.9 per cent increase from the N201.1 billion it earned in the same quarter last year.
Data subscriptions generated N123.7 billion ($157 million) for Airtel Nigeria in the quarter that ended in September 2023, according to Airtel Africa’s financial result. This was a 29.3 per cent growth in data revenue for the company. The telecommunication service providers attributed the growth in data revenue to increased data consumption by their customers.
MTN’s CEO, Karl Toriola, said that more people used data because MTN improved its data packages, more people had smartphones, and MTN invested in its network to make it bigger and better and improve its customers’ experience.
“Our 4G network now covers 80.5% of the population, up from 79.1% in December 2022. Data usage (GB per user) grew by 29.1% to 8.6GB, and the number of smartphones on our network increased by 7.6%, bringing smartphone penetration to 53.4%, up 1. Consequently, we recorded a 46.3% growth in data traffic, with the 4G network accounting for 83.7% of the total traffic.”
“Airtel Nigeria’s data revenue grew by 29.3% in constant currency, driven by data customer base growth of 17.4% and data Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) growth of 12.3%. Data usage per customer increased by 23.8% to 5.9GB per month (from 4.8GB in the prior period)” CEO of Airtel Africa, Segun Ogunsaya disclosed that Airtel Nigeria recorded a significant increase in data consumption during the review period.
“Our continued 4G network rollout has resulted in nearly 100% of all our sites delivering 4G services. Furthermore, 233 5G sites are now operational. For the Q2’24 period, 4G customers accounted for 51.1% of our total data customer base and contributed to 85.3% of total data usage. Q2’24 4G data usage per customer reached 11.7 GB per month, an increase of 41.3% (from 8.3 GB per customer per month in Q2’23),” he added.