Nigerian telecoms sector may have defied recession as the telecommunication companies in the country now rake in N314.921 billion every month courtesy of subscribers’ spending on calls and data, Daily Trust findings have shown.
Daily Trust arrived at the findings using the current active mobile subscriptions in the country and the subsisting Average Revenue Per User (ARPU), which refers to the financial performance benchmark in the telecoms industry that measures the average monthly spending on each SIM card.
According to the latest industry report by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), active SIM cards being used to access telecoms services stand at 152.8 million while ARPU, that is, average monthly revenue generated by operators from each telecoms subscriber, is estimated at around $4.5 (N2,061), with the exchange rate then at N458 to the dollar.
According to the telecommunications regulator, active lines included functional subscriptions on Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM), Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), fixed wired/wireless networks and the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) segments of the industry.
The industry statistics, updated August, revealed that Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in Nigeria activated an approximated 2.58 million lines between July and August, making the current total active subtraction the highest in the 14-year history of the Nigerian telecommunication industry.
Further analysis of the industry also showed that teledensity, which is the number of telephone connections for every hundred individuals in the country, has also risen from 107.33 per cent in July to 109.14 per cent, also being the highest ever peaked in the country.
Industry analysts have explained that these figures suggest a saturation of SIM card subscriptions in the coverage areas of the mobile network operators’ facilities.
They also believe that this was caused by the fact that there is a very heavy focus and concentration of mobile telephony in key areas deemed by the industry as commercially viable.
It was also gathered that the phenomenon can as well be tied to the arrival of the 5th MNO, Ntel, to join MTN, Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat in the competitive deployment of telecommunication services in the country.
Meanwhile, fierce competition among operators, who are jostling for market share, has continued to engender price war, leading to deliberate downward review of tariffs for voice and data services, as a gimmick to win subscribers’ loyalty.
According to the president, Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Olusola Teniola, “With continued increased competition, the price per Mbyte or Gb of data will fall in line with reduced ARPU rates observed in the industry.
Teniola, in an email correspondence, said there was no any evidence that the telecom’s contribution to GDP had been adversely impacted by the recessionary tendencies in the economy.