Nigerians spend N2.6tn on airtime, data in nine months

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The amount spent on airtime and data by Nigerian telecom subscribers rose to at least N2.59tn in the first nine months of 2023.

This is according to the financial statements of MTN Nigeria and Airtel Africa. This was a 32.57 per cent increase from the N1.95tn both telcos recorded from both income sources in the corresponding period of 2022.

The increase in voice and data venue was partially driven by rising data subscriptions and the devaluation of the naira on Airtel’s part. In the first nine months of 2022, Airtel made $1.41bn from airtime and data. When converted at the exchange rate of N461/$ which was obtained at the time, it amounted to N647.71bn.

In the same period of 2023, the company’s income from these two revenue sources amounted to $1.29bn. When converted at the exchange rate of N777/$ at the time, it amounted to N1.003tn. On MTN’s part, increasing data revenues continue to fuel the company’s overall revenue growth. Data revenues grew by 36.36 per cent year-on-year, while voice revenues only grew by 10.64 per cent, indicating a rise in the usage of the Internet in the country.

Commenting on this growth, MTN said, “Data revenue grew by 36.4 per cent on increased usage and data conversion in new and existing base.”

The firm stated that data usage on its network grew by 29.1 per cent in the period under review. It noted, “Data usage (GB per user) grew by 29.1 per cent to 8.6GB, and the number of smartphones on our network increased by 7.6 per cent, bringing smartphone penetration to 53.4 per cent, up 1.4pp YoY.

“Consequently, we recorded a 46.3 per cent growth in data traffic, with the 4G network accounting for 83.7 per cent of the total traffic (up 5.2pp YoY).”

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