Two leading mobile network operators in Nigeria, MTN and Airtel earned a total of N403.2 billion from data services in the third quarter (Q3) of 2023.
MTN, the largest telecom operator in Nigeria by subscriber number recorded N279.5 billion as data revenue between July and September this year, representing 38.9 per cent compared with the N201.1 billion it recorded in the same period last year.
Airtel Africa’s financial result for the quarter ended September 2023, showed that Airtel Nigeria earned N123.7 billion ($157 million) from data subscriptions, representing a 29.3 per cent increase in data revenue for the company.
The telecommunication service providers attributed the growth in data revenue to increased data consumption by their customers.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of MTN, Karl Toriola, the increase in data usage was supported by the revamp of MTN data bundle offerings, an increase in the penetration of smartphones, and investments in its network to expand coverage and capacity and enhance customer 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.”
CEO of Airtel Africa, Segun Ogunsanya, also disclosed that Airtel Nigeria recorded a significant increase in data consumption during the review period.
“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).
“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 said.