Telecommunications operator, Airtel Nigeria, raked in N87.2 billion ($210 million) from data service alone between April 2021 and June 2022. This was driven by a continuous increase in data consumption by its customers.
Airtel Africa, the parent body of Airtel Nigeria disclosed this in its financial result for the quarter ended June 30, 2022, which represents Q1 2023 in the company’s financial year.
Although voice revenue was still the highest for the operator accounting for 50% of earnings, data inched closer with 41% contribution. In the same period last year, data accounted for 38% of the company’s revenue.
Airtel disclosed that data usage per customer on the network jumped from 3.8 GB per month in the same quarter last year to 4.6 GB this year. This represents a 19.1% increase in consumption by the customers.
The company added that 4G data usage per customer reached 7.4 GB per month, an increase of 45.6% from 5.1 GB per customer per month in Q1’22.
Airtel in a note to the financial report stated: “Revenue grew by 16.2% in reported currency to $517 million, and by 18.3% in constant currency.
The differential in growth rates was due to the devaluation of the Nigerian naira by 1.8%.
The constant currency revenue growth was driven by both customer base growth of 12.7% and ARPU growth of 6.8%, largely driven by higher data and other revenue.”
“Data revenue grew by 24.8% in constant currency, driven by data customer base growth of 15.6% and data average revenue per user (ARPU) growth of 7.1%.
As we continued our 4G network rollout, nearly all our sites in Nigeria (99%) now deliver 4G. For the Q1’23 period, 44.3% of our data customer base were 4G users, contributing to 77.7% of total data usage,” the company added.
Data has been projected to become the main revenue earner for telecom operators in Nigeria as consumers shift from voice to data.
While Nigerians are consuming more data through various means, which include social media and virtual meetings, subscription to the internet has also been on a steady rise since the beginning of this year.