Nigerian telecom firms are set to rake in more revenue at this yuletide season as Nigerians increase the volume of calls and date consumption.
According to industry observers, the Christmas season gives subscribers more time to explore social media and watch videos that consume their data. And by doing this, many spend more on data than they usually do, without even knowing it.
For telecom operators in Nigeria, the fourth quarter has always been a period of harvest in terms of revenue.
For instance, a look at MTN Nigeria’s financials for the last 3 years shows consistent revenue growth in the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter of 2019, MTN’s revenue jumped by 8 per cent from N288.9 billion recorded in the previous quarter to N313.2 billion. Similarly, in 2020, the telco’s revenue increased by 10 per cent to N370.6 billion compared with the N337.6 billion recorded in the preceding quarter of the same year.
In the fourth quarter of 2021, MTN’s revenue also grew by 8 per cent from N414.9 billion in the third quarter to N448 billion.
Airtel Nigeria’s financial records also show a similar pattern of growth in the last quarter of every year.
For the quarter that ended December 2019, Airtel posted $355 million in revenue showing an 8.5 per cent growth over the $327 million it recorded in the preceding quarter. Airtel also ended 2020 with 9 per cent revenue growth for the last quarter of the year at $412 million.
Its results for the quarter that ended December 2021 also showed a 6 per cent revenue growth to $476 million compared with the $450 million it recorded in the previous quarter.
According to the President of the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers, Adeolu Ogunbanjo, aside from Nigerians penchant for talking and greeting people on the phone for Christmas, December is always a holiday period and this allows people to spend more time on social media, especially, a video platform like TikTok.
“Interestingly, this is also the time the telecom operators usually come up with one promo or the other, which encourages people to spend more. It’s a win-win for the subscribers and the telecom operators.”
An IT expert, Mr. Jude Okwonkwo, believes that the uptake of 4G and now 5G by the subscribers will continue to push up their spending.
While only MTN Nigeria has so far rolled out 5G in Nigeria, all the telecom operators are currently expanding their 4G network to ensure that more Nigerians have access to faster internet service.
As part of strategies to boost the company’s revenue this quarter, MTN’s Chief Executive Officer, Karl Toriola, recently disclosed that the telco would expand its 4G service to achieve 80 per cent population coverage before the end of this year.
He said the company would also deploy additional 362 5G sites, and bring 5G to more smartphones.