Nigeria: Video Streaming and Calls Drive Telecom Spending to N3.86tn, Reports NCC

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has revealed that increased video streaming and talk time contributed to a total spend of N3.86tn on telecom services in 2022, as outlined in its ‘2022 Subscriber/Network Data Annual Report.’ This figure represents an 18.74% increase from the N3.25tn spent in 2021, indicating a continuous growth in Nigerians’ reliance on telecom services.

Breaking down the revenue, the NCC reported that GSM operators generated N3.33tn, fixed wired operators made N385.07m, Internet Service Providers earned N92.08bn, Value Added Service providers brought in N40.74bn, collocation and infrastructure sharing operators contributed N3.29bn, while other telecom operators added N5.59bn to the total revenue.

While telecom service providers recorded N3.86tn in revenue, they also spent N2.88tn on operating costs and capital expenditure, resulting in a profit margin of N977.44bn (before tax).

The NCC further reported that the total number of active subscribers increased by 13.86% to 222,571,568 active voice subscriptions by the end of 2022, up from 195,463,898 subscriptions in 2021. This increase was attributed to factors such as subscriber loyalty, promotions, seasonal effects, aggressive consumer acquisition strategies, and competitive product offerings.

The growth in active subscriptions had a positive impact on various telecom indicators, including teledensity, Internet penetration, and broadband penetration. Data usage, driven by the surge in video streaming due to increased smartphone usage, saw a 46.77% increase to 518,381.78TB in 2022, compared to 353,118.89TB in 2021.

Additionally, the number of Internet subscribers increased by 9.06% to 154.85 million in 2022 from 141.97 million in December 2021. Broadband services also saw growth, with penetration rising to 47.36% and subscriptions increasing from 78,041,883 in December 2021 to 90,398,960 in December 2022.

Moreover, the total outgoing local and national call traffic in 2022 reached 204,091,441,469.16 minutes, a 17.59% increase from 2021. SMS remained relevant, with a total of 25,928,704,567 national SMS sent and received in December 2022, marking a 28.82% increase from 2021.

The telecom sector continues to play a vital role in the Nigerian economy, serving as the country’s communication backbone, connecting various aspects of economic activity. As of the end of 2021, the sector had attracted $75.6bn in investments, according to Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC.

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