Nigerians Spent At Least N19.6 Million On Text Messages

A report by the the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has revealed that over 4.9 million ( text messages were sent and received by telecoms subscribers on different networks in 2014.

According to the report, the total number of SMS sent as at December 2014 was 2.6 billion while total number of received SMS reported was 2.3 billion.

A breakdown by the report stated that MTN Nigeria recorded the highest number of outgoing and incoming SMS of 739 million and 1.1 billion respectively. MTN figure, which is an accumulated sent messages of 1.8 million, represented 36.7 per cent of the total sent and received text messages in the year under review.

Airtel recorded 577.5 million outgoing and 738.9 million received SMS. Globacom came third in the total number of SMS. Its subscribers sent and received 515.7 million outgoing text messages and 348.1 million incoming ones. Etisalat, which is the fourth largest telecoms network, recorded 430.4 million and 348.5 million as sent and received text messages respectively.

Within the Code Vision Multiple Access (CDMA) segment, only two operators were captured by the report. According to the study, Visafone emerged as the network with the fifth highest sent and received text messages of 17.4 million and 17.2 million, while Multi-Links recorded a total of 24,965 sent text messages and 42,832 received SMS.

Meanwhile, telecoms companies are said to be losing SMS revenue to the proliferation of instant messaging (IM) platforms, where their subscribers are able to send chart messages ‘for free’ as long as they have internet connection on their devices.

With the development, the problem of telecoms operators in Nigeria in the face of dwindling Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) and increased capital expenditure (CAPEX) appears compounded. According to findings, the volume of text messages, which run on Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), has declined to 55 per cent, as 45 per cent of telecoms subscribers, who hitherto used USSD platforms to send text messages, have migrated to Internet-based platforms such as the IMS.

“In Nigeria, about 45 per cent of those who send messages regularly use Internet-based IMS. Irrespective of their location, telecoms users want to remain connected with messaging and calling and updated with browsing and social networking and have access to entertainment,” said Ericsson’s head of sub-Saharan Africa, Mr. Fredrick Lejdling.

According to reports, there are over 80 million mobile Internet subscribers in Nigeria with close to half of them using IMS to send messages.


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