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MTN Nigeria’s data revenues remain steady in volatile market

By , Africa editor
Nigeria , 30 Apr 2024
MTN Nigeria CEO Karl Toriola.
MTN Nigeria CEO Karl Toriola.

MTN Nigeria's data revenue increased significantly in the first calendar quarter of 2024, with double-digit growth.

The telco's data revenues increased by 53.4%, outpacing voice revenue.

MTN attributed the rise in data to improved data package offerings, broad network coverage, and more capacity.

In September 2023, MTN announced that it acquired an extra 2.6GHz spectrum, allowing it to eploy additional capacity to its network.

MTN Nigeria CEO Karl Toriola stated that the telco's 4G network currently reaches 81.6% of the population, a 0.1 percentage point increase from December 2023, and 5G coverage is at 12.4%, up 1.2 percentage points.

While smartphone penetration was 55.2% (up 2.5 percentage points year on year), data usage (GB per user) increased 28.5% to 10.1GB montly.

As a result, he said that data traffic rose 40.6%, with the 4G network accounting for 81.9% of the total traffic and 5G at 6.4%.

Toriola added: “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 280,000 subscribers in Q1, bringing our home broadband subscribers to over 2.3 million. Our infrastructural strength, technology mix and partnerships position us to capture a significant share of market opportunities.”

Turning to fintech revenue, Toriola said it increased marginally, by 0.7%, due to the National Identity Number (NIN) requirement for KYC validation, impacting approximately a million active wallets.

As a result, he said, MoMo Payment Service Bank revenue was down by 50.5%, which was offset by the 5.5% increase in revenue from Xtratime (our airtime lending product).

“The KYC requirement and the delays in Central Bank of Nigeri approvals for some of our commercial initiatives impacted the growth of active wallets. We ended the quarter with 4.8 million active wallet users, representing a 566,000 decline in Q1,” said Toriola.

However, he said: “The growing adoption and increased activity within our fintech ecosystem spurred transaction volume growth of 25.6% year-on-year. We ended the quarter with 232,300 MoMo agents, which includes Over-The-Counter (OTC) agents, reflecting a decline of 94,400 in the period.

“Excluding OTC transactions, MoMo agents were 189,600. We added more than 75,000 merchants in Q1, bringing the total number of merchants within our ecosystem to over 400,000.”

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