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Data Subscription Overtakes Voice, Jumps by 59.2%

By Stanley Iwuoha

If you wants to know how much COVID19 pandemic has impacted the economy, the latest NCC report on mobile subscription will convince you.

One of the finding in the report for the month of August indicates that while data subscription currently plays second fiddle to voice in terms of revenue for the telcos, it is gradually becoming the main source of income as voice declines.

For instance, MTN, in its Q1 2020 financial result revealed that it recorded a sharp increase in data revenue, while voice revenue only increased marginally.

From all indications, the report shows that the telco’s data revenue jumped by 59.2 per cent to N74 billion in Q1 2020, while voice revenue only grew by 7.4 per cent in the same quarter.

Meanwhile, the statistics released by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC shows that the active subscriptions for mobile telecommunications service in Nigeria has climbed to 203 million.
The report reveals that the feat was achieved by a combined effort of the leading mobile networks operators, MTN, Globacom, Airtel, and 9mobile in August this year.

The figure increased from by 4.2 million from 198.9 million recorded in the previous month.

The report also revealed that the country’s teledensity now stood at 106.62 per cent.

Teledensity is measured by the number of active telephone connections per 100 inhabitants living within an area.

A breakdown of the findings shows that the service providers activated a total of 4.2 million in the month under review, which shored up their subscription database from 198.9 million recorded in the previous month.

How the telcos Performed
MTN, which is the leading operator showed a bullish performance as the largest mobile operator by the number of subscriptions in the country.

In the month under review, MTN activated 2.7 million new lines, which brought its total active subscriptions to 83 million.

Airtel on its part trailed MTN as the second-largest polled 1.06 million new subscriptions in the month to have a total of 54.7 million in its database, while Globacom on its part activated 192, 327 new lines, bringing its total subscriptions to 52.9 million.

9mobile on the other hand, recorded new 214,282 subscriptions in the month under review. This brought its total subscriptions to 12.3 million from 12.1 million it recorded in July.

Internet subscription
The NCC report also reveals that the total number of Nigerians connected to the internet across mobile, fixed wired and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) within the month in review increased to 149.7 million.

The study reveals that the telecommunications operators added 2.6 million new internet customers in the month.

The report further indicates that while the data subscriptions had been on a steady increase in the last one year as the telcos aggressively push for the deployment of 4G infrastructure, the current COVID-19 pandemic has forced many Nigerians to depend heavily on the internet for several needs.

For the report, the mobile networks, MTN, Globacom, Airtel and 9mobile maintained their lead as the preferred choice of connectivity by many Nigerians as the mobile network operators accounted for 99.7 per cent of the internet subscriptions.

Meanwhile, while mobile internet subscriptions as of August stood at 149.3 million, subscriptions over fixed wired and VoIP stood at 433,267.

A further look at the study revealed that MTN increased its subscription by 1.6 million new internet customers in the month. The telco, which had the largest subscriber both for voice and internet recorded a total of 63.8 million internet customers as of August this year.

In the same vein, Airtel again followed MTN in terms of internet customers as it added 738,462 new subscriptions, which brought its customer base to 39.7 million.

Globacom added 231,341 new internet subscriptions in the month, which brought the telco’s total internet customers to 38.5 million. 9mobile maintained the fourth position as it gained 32,621 internet subscriptions in the month to record a total of 7.1 million.

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