MTN, Airtel Data Services Roll In N403.2b In Q3, 2023


Two leading mobile network operators in Nigeria, MTN and Airtel earned N403.2 billion from data service in Q3 2023 as data consumption by Nigerians peaked.  

Specifically, MTN recorded N279.5 billion as data revenue between July and September this year which represents 38.9% compared with the N201.1 billion it recorded in the same period last year.  

According to Airtel Africa’s financial result for the quarter ended September 2023, Airtel Nigeria earned N123.7 billion ($157 million) from data subscriptions. This also represents a 29.3% growth in data revenue for the company.  

Both MTN and Airtel acknowledged that the data revenue growth was driven by the increase in data consumption by their customers.

Speaking on the revenua, the Chief Executive Officer of MTN, Karl Toriola, said 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,” Toriola stated.  

On his part, the CEO of Airtel Africa, Segun Ogunsanya, also noted 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. 

Earlier, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) revealed that internet users in Nigeria consumed 655,879.86 terabytes of data in August this year.

The data released by the telecom regulator indicated that there has been a steady rise in the amount of data being consumed in the country. The August usage represented a 6.6% rise when compared with 615,207.39 terabytes consumed in July. 

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