A report by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) disclosed that the top six telecommunication operators in Nigeria earned over N37.8 billion from short message service (SMS) in 2021. The NCC report stated that the Nigerian subscribers sent a total of 9.462 billion text messages at a cost of N4 per text amounting to N37.8 billion. The telecommunication companies included in the review were MTN, Globacom, Airtel, 9Mobile, Smile Communications, and Ntel.

The report 
Amongst the top six telecommunication companies under review, MTN Nigeria processed 7.9 billion or 83% of the total text messages sent across the country in 2021. In second place was Airtel Nigeria with 1.27 billion text messages and 9Mobile to round up the top three with 305 million SMS. 

  • Other telecommunication in the country, Ntel sent 2.08 million messages, Smile Communications 265,176 text messages, and Globacom recorded the least with 3,340. 
  • Outgoing international messages from the country recorded a total of 63 million SMS in 2021.
  • The 2021 report shows a 15% increase in outgoing text messages compared to the 8.2 billion SMS sent in 2020.

Why it matters 
In the age of internet-based free messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegrams, etc, the NCC report establishes the fact that Nigerians are using paid text messages. 

What you should know 

  • In March 2022, data shows that the telecommunication companies operating in Nigeria gained about 2.5 million new users. 
  • The recent addition takes the country’s broadband internet connection users to 80.6 million in the month under review. 
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