from OKORO CHINEDU in Lagos, Nigeria
LAGOS – NIGERIA’S main mobile network operators are posting significant performances despite regulatory constraints.
The main hindrance is the Nigerian Communications Commission’s (NCC’s) mandate that all subscriber identity module (SIM) cards be linked to national identification numbers.
This has resulted in the disconnection of some clients and challenges registering new ones.
FBN Quest noted that following the NCC’s lifting of the prohibition on new SIM activations in April 2021, the industry resumed subscriber growth in July that year.
The market watcher said although MTN Nigeria’s (MTNN) subscriber count decreased by 1,3 million year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022, its sales and net income grew 22 percent y/y and 25 percent y/y respectively.
Similarly, Airtel Africa’s consolidated figures show that sales and earnings before tax for Airtel Nigeria increased by 24 percent and 26 percent y/y in Q4 2022.
Airtel attracted 2.4 million new users to its network, representing a 5,8 percent y/y increase in subscribers.
“Both companies’ sales growth was primarily driven by solid data revenue growth,” FBN Quest stated.
While Airtel’s data revenue increased by 33 percent y/y, MTNN’s data revenue grew at 54 percent y/y.
“Increased data usage per subscriber, sustained expansion of 4G network coverage and higher smartphone penetration were the supporting drivers of data revenue,” according to FBN Quest.
Recently, the Central Bank of Nigeria granted both firms final approval to operate their payment service banks.
“We believe this bodes well for revenues because it would allow both firms to play a larger role in Nigeria’s fintech ecosystem and the effort to promote financial inclusion and access,” FBN stated.
MTNN’s impending launch of its 5G network is anticipated to allow it expand its digital product offerings.
– CAJ News