In August, 174m Telecom Subscribers Spent N261bn On Airtime
About 174.7 million telecom subscribers in the country spent at least N261billion on airtime last month.
This figure is based on the number of subscribers in the month under review, which was obtained from the Nigerian Communications Commission, and the $4.87 (N1490.22k) industry’s Average Revenue Per User provided by network operators.
The monthly subscriber data from NCC showed that there were 174.668m active GSM subscribers from MTN, Globacom, Airtel and 9mobile in August.
With the telecommunications companies’ ARPU amounting to $4.87 (N1490.22) per month, Nigerians spent N261bn on airtime in August.
Economic Confidential reports that the core revenue of telcos comes from airtime sales, and this income come in for operators via voice calls, SMS, data subscriptions and value-added services.
Nigerians purchase airtime through various platforms such as physical recharge card, the virtual top-up via USSD code, subscribers’ bank accounts domiciled on mobile devices, vending on web-based platforms and on Automated Teller Machines.
Despite predictions by analysts that voice and messaging revenue would decline due to the proliferation of instant messaging apps, revenue from airtime continue to rise, Economic Confidential reports.
A market research firm, Ovum, had predicted that there would be a drop in spending on traditional communication services offered by the incumbent telcos by 36 per cent in the next 10 years.
Ovum noted that services offerings of messaging apps were built on innovative business models and offered a much lower price than traditional telcos were offering.
The operators have been investing on network upgrade to meet up with their subscribers growing demand.
Airtel Nigeria in its 2018 third-quarter report stated that in the last one year, it had doubled its number of broadband base stations from 5,652 it had in December 2017 to 10,369 base stations as of December 2018.
The telco also reported $223m capital expenditure in Nigeria mainly for network upgrade and expansion.
Similarly, MTN upped its capital investment when it secured N200bn medium-term loan from 12 Nigerian banks mainly to drive Internet expansion and rural telecoms devices last year.
Glo and 9mobile have also announced billions of naira investments to upgrade their networks early this year.
Meanwhile, the four major telecommunications companies in the country may lose N13.8billion next month if 9.2million SIM cards are deactivated from their networks, Economic Confidential reports.
The Federal Government Thursday directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to block 9.2m SIM cards that were not properly registered by their owners.
The Minister of Communications Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami who gave the directive in a statement said the NCC should immediately rein on the telecom operators in the country to cut off the erring subscribers from their telecom networks.
But Economic Confidential reports that if the directive is carried out, the telecom operators will be losing N1490.22k per SIM cards every month.