Active telephone subscribers in the country must have spent a whopping sum of N2.14tn on voice calls and Short Message Service, among other basic services between January, 2011 and December, 2012.
This is based on an Average Revenue per User of N912 monthly accruing from telecoms subscribers to MTN, Globacom, Airtel, Etisalat, Visafone, Starcomms, and Multi-Links, among other operators in the country.
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 the fixed telephone operators in a particular country. Nigeria currently has 113 million active subscribers.
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 1.14tn on the services in 2012.
The Nigerian Communications Commission had revealed that active telephone users in the country stood at 89,840,343 in January 2011 and at a monthly ARPU of N912, at least N81.9bn was expended on phone calls.
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.
At that time, the subscriber base had increased to 90,834,429; 92,094,200; 93,461,436; 93,924,116 and 95,387,893 in July, August, September, October and November; closing at 95,886,714 in December. Therefore, over N1tn was spent on telephone services in 2011.
In 2012, the total estimated telephone service spending was N1.14tn as at December. Specifically, 96,150,836 active subscribers spent an estimated N87.7bn on telephone services in January. This was followed by N88.1bn in February; N90.4bn in March; and N92.2bn in April, when the subscriber base was 96,616,580; 99,145,013; and 101,077,658, respectively.
Subscribers’ telephone spending continued on an upward trend in May with N92.9bn by 101,814,533 active subscribers. This was followed by N93.4bn in June; N94.3bn in July; N96bn in August; and N97.7bn in September.
By then, subscriber base had risen from 102,369,999 in June to 107,083,036 in September 2012.
While N99.9bn was spent on telephone services in October, over 110 million subscribers expended N100.6bn in November and N103.2bn was spent in December 2012 by 113,195,951 telephone subscribers.
Though the decline in the ARPU had been attributed to a number of factors, including penetration to low income users, consistent tariff reduction and serious competition among mobile operators, industry forecasts revealed that it would continue to drop.