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Nigerians Spend N1 Trillion on MTN Data in One Year



MTN kicks off 5G in Nigeria  

Despite various economic headwinds confronting Nigerians, customers of MTN in the country committed over a trillion naira to data subscription on the network of the mobile number operator (MNO) in 2023.

According to data available to BUSINESS METRICS, the operator also recorded additional internet users on its network in the year to see the historical highest data revenue in the country.

MTN raked in N1.07 trillion from data subscription, representing a 39.8% growth from N764.82 billion in 2022. Similarly, active data users on the network of MTN jumped by 12.7% to 70.66 million in 2023, rising by over five million.

Increasingly, Nigerians have become attached to the internet for economic and social reasons even as they navigate the murky water of economic challenges such as unemployment, biting inflation which hit 28.92% in 2023 and a depreciating local currency.

internet in Nigeria

Distribution of Internet subscribers on the networks of GSM operators as at December, 2023. Source: NCC

Data by the Nigerian communications Commission (NCC) shows that internet subscriptions in the country stood at 163.84 million as of December 2023 rising by 8.99 million or 5.8% from 154.85 million at the end of 2022. The increase drove monthly data consumption in the country to reach 713.2 petabytes in December.

The data further shows that out of the new internet users recorded in the year, 5.04 million joined MTN network. The company ascribed this to new investments in 4G and 5G access, broadband expansion, quality of service improvement and pushing home broadband infrastructure to a new height.

Commenting on the development, MTN chief executive officer, Karl Toriola, said:

“We recorded pleasing growth of 39.8% (up 48.7% in Q4) in data revenue supported by a revamp of our data bundle offerings – particularly in Q4 – as well as the significant investment in our network coverage and capacity.

“Our 4G network now covers 81.5% of the population, up from 79.1% in December 2022, and 5G at 11.3%. On the back of these initiatives, smartphone penetration rose to 55.6% (up 3.1% year-on-year), underpinning data usage (GB per user) growth of 29.1% to 8.6GB. As a result, we recorded a 44.9% growth in data traffic, with the 4G network accounting for 81.8% of the total traffic (up 0.6pp YoY) and 5G at 5.2%.

We expanded home broadband penetration to support the growing use cases for digital adoption, leveraging our 5G fixed wireless access devices, mobile broadband solutions, and fibre-to-the-home connectivity.

“We added over 800k subscribers in 2023, bringing our home broadband subscribers to over 2 million. Our infrastructural strength, technology mix and partnerships position us to capture a significant share of market opportunities.”

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