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Telcos raked in N2.02tn from airtime, data in 2021



MTN Nigeria Communications Plc and Airtel Nigeria both raked in N2.02tn from airtime and data revenues in 2021, according to the financial statements of the two companies.

The amount indicates a 20.01 per cent increase from the N1.68tn both companies made from airtime and data revenues in 2020.

The amount 9mobile and Globacom made from data and airtime revenues could not be obtained as their financial statements are not made public.

According to statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission, MTN and Airtel are the two major call carriers in the nation. In its industry statistics report for 2020, a total 150,825,830,687.40 minutes of calls were made.

Of this number, a total of 145,420,101,695 calls (96.42 per cent) were made from MTN lines (103,531,547,686 minutes), while the remaining (41,888,554,009 minutes) were made on Airtel network.

In 2021, MTN made N819.74bn and N516.21bn from airtime and data, respectively; in 2020, it made N766.39bn and N332.37bn from airtime and data, respectively. In 2021, Airtel made N397.91bn ($957m) and N287.31bn ($691m) from airtime and data, respectively; in 2020, it made N370.47bn ($891m) and N214.96bn ($517m) from airtime and data, respectively.

In its financial statement for the year end, December 2021, MTN said its data revenue had continued to maintain an upward trajectory even as it expanded its 4G coverage. It added that average megabyte per subscriber rose by 85.3 per cent in the year.

It said, “Data revenue rose by 55.3 per cent, maintaining an accelerated growth trajectory in Q4 as we continue to accelerate the expansion of our 4G coverage, enhance the quality and capacity of our network to support increasing data traffic, and grow active data users.

“Average MB per user rose by 62.7 per cent, enabling overall data traffic growth of 85.3 per cent. Also, smartphone penetration on the network grew by 4.0pp to 50 per cent. Our 4G network now covers 70.3 per cent of the population, up from 60.1 per cent in December 2020.”

MTN added that its voice revenue grew by 8.4 per cent more than that of 2020 as a result of higher usage in its active SIM base, as it witnessed a 7.9 per cent growth in minutes of use.

According to Airtel, its voice revenue grew by 8.4 per cent, resulting in a 7.9 per cent growth in minutes of use.

The Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Africa Plc, Segun Ogunsanya, said, “Voice revenues posted year on year growth of 9.9 per cent, almost 10 per cent in the quarter, a slight slowdown given the softer quarter particularly in Q1 but still reflecting year on year customer growth of 5.8 per cent, adding voice ARPU growth of 5.2 per cent.

“We still fundamentally believe that with the low customer penetration levels across our footprint of 14 countries, combined with very low minutes of usage, there is still a very long runway for voice revenues to continue to grow.”

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