Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

4G/5G

MTN Nigeria's data customer base grows 35%

Article Image
MTN Nigeria has seen a huge jump in data customers joining its network during the past year, the operator revealed in its full year 2019 results published on Monday.

MTN added 6.5 million new data users in 2019, a near 35% year-on-year increase, to give it a total of 25.2 million. Data users now account for 39.2% of overall users, "with strong potential for future growth," the operator noted in its financials for the 12 months to December 31, 2019.

In total, MTN Nigeria added 6.1 million customers during the year, taking its total to 64.3 million, a 10.5% increase from a year ago.

With user numbers growing, service revenue also increased, by 12.6% to NGN1.2 trillion (US$3.3 billion).

"Despite a challenging operating environment, we continued to deliver double-digit growth in service revenue in line with our medium-term guidance," said MTN Nigeria CEO, Ferdi Moolman.

He said that while data revenue continued to accelerate, voice revenue growth also remained healthy, at 8.4%, and still accounted for 72.7% of service revenue. Data revenue increased 42.4% during the year, contributing 18.8% of all service revenue, compared to 14.9% in 2018.

"In the third quarter, we focused on several initiatives to enhance coverage and drive data usage penetration. These initiatives include optimising frequencies, expanding our 4G network coverage with over 6,000 additional sites, leveraging 800MHz spectrum and repositioning our commercial data offerings," Moolman explained.

MTN Nigeria also added 5.3 million new smartphones to its network, bringing smartphone penetration up to 41.8% of its base, while data traffic volumes rose by 85.8%.

MTN Nigeria CEO, Ferdi Moolman.
MTN Nigeria CEO, Ferdi Moolman.

He said the operator added 2.9 million data subscribers in the fourth quarter and its 4G population coverage rose to 43.8%, giving people in 68 additional cities access to 4G.

"We closed the year with 132 cities covered by 4G and became the first mobile network operator in West Africa to demonstrate the capability of 5G technology. We are excited about its potential for our customers and Nigeria's overall national development plans," he added. (See West & Central Africa Get on 5G Train.)

The group is also looking to put its legal troubles in Nigeria behind it.

"We are delighted with the progress made in resolving our dispute with the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) on the adequacy of taxes and duties paid. We have discontinued the legal action against the AGF following the transfer of the matter to the relevant authorities and look forward to a final resolution," Moolman said.

In January MTN confirmed that the Nigerian attorney general had withdrawn a $2 billion tax demand after a lengthy court battle. (See Nigeria's Attorney General Gives Up on $2B MTN Tax Battle .)

The attorney general first handed MTN the tax bill in September 2018 for taxes allegedly owed in relation to the import of foreign equipment and payments to foreign suppliers since 2008, but MTN steadfastly denied that it had not paid its dues.

In January MTN also promised to invest $1.6 billion in Nigeria during the next three years, to strengthen and expand its network and operations in the country. (See MTN promises $1.6B Nigeria investment, legal woes over.)

Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub

Story

Five mobility startups to watch in 2024

Connecting Africa has compiled a list of five mobility startups that are making a difference in the communities they serve.

Story

Orange Ventures, Digital Africa promise more funding for startups

Orange Ventures and Digital Africa are teaming up to invest more in tech startups in Africa and the Middle East through Digital Africa's Fuz program and the Orange Digital Center network.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Sponsored video

More videos

Follow us on X

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Upcoming events

Africa Tech Festival 2024
November 11-14, 2024
Cape Town, South Africa
More Upcoming events

Africa Tech Perspectives

Story

Uber's Marjorie Saint-Lot on inclusion and sustainability in Africa

Uber's Country Manager for Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, Marjorie Saint-Lot, shares how the ride-hailing company is approaching public-private partnerships, environmentally friendly initiatives and gender inclusion in Africa.

Story

The 100 most influential African leaders in 2023

A new report from Africa Tech Festival and Connecting Africa puts a spotlight on the top 100 African leaders in the telecoms and technology sector in 2023.

Story

Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

More Africa Tech perspectives

Guest Perspectives

Story

How e-mobility could transform Africa's transport sector

By Francis Hook

ICT analyst Francis Hook delves into Africa's e-mobility sector and unpacks the challenges faced locally and the benefits the move to electric vehicles could bring to urban transport systems.

Story

Omdia View: April 2024

By Omdia Analysts

April 2024's telecoms highlights in the Middle East and Africa included a license for Starlink in Ghana, new mobile termination rates in Ethiopia, and 6G trials in Bahrain – that and more in the latest Omdia View.

More Guest Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up
Tag id test-002