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Telecoms subscribers spent N401bn in three months -NCC

By The Citizen


With an Average Revenue per User of $7 (N1,090.25), the 144,492,384 active telecoms subscribers in the country spent about N401.25bn on voice calls and text messages between November last year and January this year.

The 144,492,384 subscribers might have boosted the coffers of the telecoms service providers in January 2013 by over N157.5bn; while for December and November last year when the subscriber base was 113,195,951 and 110,348,131 respectively, telecoms firms would have made about N123.4bn and N120.3bn for the periods.

The ARPU is a financial performance benchmark in the telecoms industry that measures the average monthly or yearly revenue generated by Global System for Mobile Communications, Code Division Multiple Access and fixed telephone operators in a particular country.

The country's teledensity was put at 81.78 per cent by the Nigerian Communications Commission during the same period in which 1.3 million additional active telephone lines were added in January 2013 alone.

Teledensity is the percentage of connected lines in relation to the population at a given period of time, and its growth is proportionate to the growth in the subscriber base.

The industry ended 2012 with a combined subscriber base of 113.1 million, up from 95.8 million active subscriptions in January.

According to the latest NCC data, only GSM operators such as MTN, Glo, Airtel and Etisalat contributed the additional 1.3 subscribers, as the CDMA and fixed line operators recorded declines in their subscriber base.

The CDMA operators comprising Visafone, Multi-Links, Starcomms and the dormant ZoomMobile, experienced reduction from 2.9 million lines in December 2012 to 2.8 million at the end of January 2013.

In view of this, telephone service subscribers, who increased from the highest of 95,886,714 in December 2011 to 113,195,951 in December 2012, would have spent N2.14tn on mobile services, particularly voice calls between January 2011 and December 2012.

While a little over N1tn was spent on telephone services in 2011, subscribers spent N1.14tn on the services in 2012.

The NCC had revealed that the number of active telephone users in the country stood at 89,840,343 in January 2011 with a monthly ARPU of N912, thus, at least N81.9bn would have been expended on phone calls in the month.

This increased to N82.6bn in February 2011 and N82.9bn in March, when the subscriber base hit 90,583,306 and 90,969,794, respectively.

Subscribers further spent N82.6bn in April of the same year; N82.5bn in May; N82.6bn in June; N82.8bn in July; N83.9bn in August; N85.2bn in September; N85.6bn in October; N87.4bn in November and N87.4bn in December 2011.

Figures from PriceWaterHouse Coopers, which was commissioned by the NCC to put together statistics on the industry in 2012, showed that Nigeria's outgoing and incoming on-net and off-net calls totalled 22.3 billion minutes in 2012; while 1.8 billion text messages were exchanged in the same period.

Similarly, the report showed that while the total call times recorded increased by over five billion minutes from 17 billion in 2011 to 22.3 billion at the end of 2012, SMS volume also increased by three million, rising from 1.5 billion to 1.8 billion in the same period.

However, with telecoms operators operating different tariffs for on-net calls ranging from N9 to N12, industry analysts said the average tariff charge per minute of call could be conservatively pegged at N15.