Increased video streaming and talk time raised the amount spent on telecom services to N3.86tn in 2022.
The Nigerian Communications Commission disclosed this in its newly released ‘2022 Subscriber/Network Data Annual Report.’
It noted that this was 18.74 per cent increase from the N3.25tn that was spent in 2021; an indication of sustained growth in Nigerians reliance on telecom services.
Providing a breakdown of the revenue, the commission noted that GSM operators made N3.33tn; Fixed wired operators made N385.07m; Internet Service Providers made N92.08bn; Value Added Service providers made N40.74bn; collocation and infrastructure sharing operators made N3.29bn; and other telecom operators made N5.59bn.
Also, while telecom service providers raked in N3.86tn as revenue, they spent N2.88tn on operating costs and capital expenditure, leaving them with a N977.44bn profit margin (before tax).
According to the commission, the total number of active subscribers increased by 13.86 per cent to 222,571,568 active voice subscriptions as of the end of 2022, from 195,463,898 subscriptions in 2021.
Commenting on the increase, it said, “The increase in the operators’ subscriber base was attributed to a number of reasons which includes subscriber loyalty, promos, seasonal effects, aggressive consumer acquisition drive, and competitive product offerings across all the networks.”
It added that the increase could also be attributed to the lifting of the ban on the sale and registration of new SIMs, SIM swaps, and all porting activities following the conclusion of its audit of the subscriber registration database.
According to the NCC, the growth in active subscriptions impacted positively on other derived telecom indicators such as teledensity, Internet penetration as well as broadband penetration.
Data usage, which had been attributed to the growth in video streaming because of the rise in smartphone usage, surged by 46.77 per cent to 518,381.78TB in 2022 from 353,118.89TB in 2021.
The NCC said, “There was an increase in the volume of data consumed in the year end December 2022 when compared with the year-end December 2021.
“The total volume of data consumed by subscribers increased to 518,381.78TB as of December 2022 from 353,118.89TB as of December 2021. This represents an increase of 46.77 per cent in data consumption within the period.”
In 2022, the number of Internet subscribers increased by 9.06 per cent to 154.85 million from 141.97 million subscriptions as of December 2021.
More people got connected to broadband services in 2022 with penetration growing to 47.36 per cent from 40.88 per cent and subscriptions increasing from 78,041,883 subscriptions in December 2021 to 90,398,960 subscriptions as of December 2022.
People made more calls in 2022 with total outgoing local and national traffic for calls hitting 204,091,441,469.16 minutes, a 17.59 per cent increase from the 173,555,413,817.69 minutes recorded in 2021.
SMS continued to be a relevant communication channel as the total number of national SMS both sent and received as of December 2022 was 25,928,704,567, a 28.82 per cent increase from the 20,126,551,822 SMS recorded in 2021.
Telecoms continue to create value for the Nigerian economy because it is the country’s communication backbone, connecting every aspect of the economy.
The Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, recently disclosed that the telecoms sector had attracted $75.6bn worth of investments as of the end of 2021.