Airtel Nigeria said it has seen a surge in data consumption on its network as average usage by customers on 4G increased to 10.7GB per month.
The parent company of the Nigerian telecom operator, Airtel Africa, disclosed this in its financial report for the quarter ended June 2023.
According to the report, the increase in data consumption by 4G users represents a 44.4% jump when compared with 7.4GB per month data usage recorded at the same time last year.
For non-4G users on Airtel, their data consumption also increased from an average of 4.6GB per month last year to 5.7GB per month as of June this year, representing a 24.5% increase.
According to the company, the increase in data consumption pushed its data revenue for its Q1 2024(April-June 2023) to $228 million (about N176,7 billion) from $210 million (N162.7 billion) recorded in the same period last year.
Attributing the increase in data usage and the resultant jump in data revenue to its expansion of 4G coverage, Airtel said:
“Our continued 4G network rollout has resulted in nearly 100% of all our sites in Nigeria delivering 4G. For the Q1’24 period, 48.5% of our data customer base were 4G users, contributing to 84.0% of total data usage. 4G data usage per customer reached 10.7 GB per month, an increase of 44.4% (from 7.4 GB per customer per month in Q1’23).”
Airtel Nigeria’s total revenue for the period grew 23% in constant currency to $528 million.
The company said the constant currency revenue growth was driven by both customer base growth of 4.8% and Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) growth of 16.1%, largely driven by higher data revenue growth.
Loss to naira devaluation
Meanwhile, amid the increase in revenue from the Nigerian operation, Airtel Africa said it recorded a foreign exchange loss of $471 million in the quarter under review due to the devaluation of the Nigerian naira.
The unification of the exchange rate by the Central Bank which pushed the exchange rate from N460/$ in June to N790/$ was the reason for the loss.
The group’s revenue increased by 9% during the period to $1.37 billion from the $1.25 billion it recorded in the same period for 2022.
However, it stated that it used an exchange rate of N502/$ to prepare its financial result. If the closing rate of N752/$ were used to calculate its financial results, revenues would have slumped to $1.20 billion representing a 4.4% decline.
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