Data, Fintech fastest growing revenue sources for telecoms 

Revenues from MTN’s Fintechs grew by 10.2 percent, largely driven by mobile money services. PHOTO | FILE

What you need to know:

  • According to MTN, active data users grew by 16 percent growth in while total MBs used increased by 47 percent. 
  • For Airtel, data usage per customer reached 3.2 GB per customer per month, from 2.6 GB per customer per month in the prior period. 

Telecoms are leveraging on rapid growth in data and Financial Technology (Fintechs) as new revenue streams, amid low or stagnated growth in voice revenue, according to available data. 

Data contained in the MTN financial results for the period ended December 2021 indicate that telecom registered a 21.9 percent growth in data revenues, while Fintechs services, which include digital payments, registered a 10.2 percent growth, driven by mobile money services. 

The growth, MTN said, was underpinned on improvements in broadband connectivity and growth in active data users, which saw a 16 percent growth in active data users while total MBs used increased by 47 percent.   MTN also reported that during the period, data users increased by 730,000 subscribers from 4.59 million to 5.32 million, representing a percentage growth on 15.96 percent. 

Revenues from MTN’s Fintechs grew by 10.2 percent, largely driven by mobile money services which registered a 16.3 percent growth. 

Mobile money has in the last 10 years become one of the most important revenue streams for telecoms. Currently, according to UCC, there are over 30 million mobile money subscribers. 

The rapid changes in technology, have, however, eaten into traditional revenue streams – voice and massaging services – which had for long been some of the largest contributors on telecom’s topline. 

During the period, MTN indicated that revenues from voice had grown by 3.6 percent, which, when compared to growth in data and Fintechs, was substantially lower. 

However, telecoms have previously indicated that a large chunk of their revenues is still generated from voice. 

Commenting about the MTN results, Mr Stephen Kaboyo, the Alpha Capital managing partner, early this week said the telecom’s solid financial performance had been driven by data and Fintech revenue, which all registered double digit growth. 

Looking at the main drivers that make up a good portion of MTN’s revenues, he said, one could argue that falling voice revenues have set MTN on a mission to look elsewhere for new revenue sources.

 Early last month, Airtel Africa without giving specifics for its Ugandan operation, said mobile money revenues had grown by 39.3 percent, largely due to growth in Zambia, Uganda and Malawi while data revenue had grown by 28.5 percent. 

According to MTN, active data users grew by 16 percent while total MBs used increased by 47 percent. 

For Airtel, data usage per customer reached 3.2 GB per customer per month, from 2.6 GB per customer per month in the prior period. 

During the period, growth in Airtel’s voice revenue, which stood at 20.2 percent, was, however, slightly lower than what the telecom generated from data and mobile money. 

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