Making sense of the elevated information utilization since COVID-19

Throughout numerous sectors, the COVID-19 pandemic modified shopper behaviours, altering traits and making nonsense of forecasts for the yr.

The Q2 GDP report not too long ago launched by the Nationwide Bureau of Statistics exhibits that whereas most sectors skilled a contraction, sectors like crop manufacturing, commerce and telecommunications skilled optimistic development.

Amongst different sectors that skilled optimistic development, Telecommunications grew 18.1% contributing 14.3% to the full GDP. It’s comprehensible that telecommunications would expertise a surge in actions throughout a lockdown. Individuals want fixed relations to keep up a correspondence, particularly once they have been restricted to the 4 partitions of their properties.

For MTN Nigeria, the Q1 and Q2 studies filed with the Nigerian Inventory alternate confirmed that income from Knowledge utilization rose by greater than N5 billion in Q2 in comparison with the earlier quarter. The corporate recorded N79.97 billion in Q2 towards N74 billion in Q1.

In the identical interval, income for voice calls dropped by greater than N20 billion, from N194 billion in Q1 to N174 billion in Q2.

Commenting on the report, the corporate had remarked that demand for information and digital providers grew, at the same time as different providers had been impacted by the financial constraints attributable to lockdowns and motion restrictions. That is despite the 90-day free SMS initiative which was launched in April, the place greater than 4.Three billion free textual content messages had been despatched earlier than the top of June.

Be aware additionally that the income from information doesn’t issue within the visits to healthcare web sites which MTN had zero-rated as a part of strikes to assist Nigerians in accessing credible and dependable information. Based on the Q2 report, prospects used greater than 3,000 Terabytes (equal of three million GB) of knowledge in visiting these websites.

In the direction of the top of H1, this initiative was expanded to incorporate a variety of training platforms endorsed by Nigerian federal and state governments, however no information was given on this.

A have a look at Airtel Nigeria’s financials can even reveal similar development. Income from information grew by virtually a billion naira, from N45.6 billion within the first quarter of 2020 (January to March 2020) to N46.Four billion within the second quarter (April to June). Income from voice calls dropped by N14 billion, from N88.9 billion in January to March 2020, to N74.eight billion within the subsequent quarter.

Airtel Nigeria often studies its figures in {dollars}, so the figures given above had been arrived at utilizing an alternate fee of N380 to $1.

Chief Government Officer, Raghunath Mandava, defined within the report that that is the results of individuals looking for new methods of socialising whereas making an attempt to comprise the unfold of an infection. To maintain up with the development, the corporate needed to enhance the penetration of digital recharges and increase its residence broadband options.

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Extra information, much less calls! Why?

As quickly because the realities of the lockdown set in, many firms set about activating the distant working framework. To do that, a number of functions got here into use and workers needed to set about adapting to them.

Working from residence positively performed a task in rising individuals’s information wants. A earlier report from Nairametrics had some staff admitting that their information consumption tripled due to the calls for of working on-line all day. No matter who bore the price of the elevated information demand, workers needed to keep on-line to work, attend to prospects and shoppers, attend conferences, e-conferences and seminars.

The lockdown additionally noticed lecturers being compelled to go surfing. Whereas the standard educating system in Nigeria would have required college students seated within the classroom with the trainer bodily current. Personal colleges took their classes on-line through the lockdown. Some ran the whole time period curriculum and courses, and even took their examinations on-line on the finish of the time period.

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These actions got here with elevated demand for information, from a gaggle of people that barely had want for them earlier than. If the lecturers had been giving out classes on-line, dad and mom additionally had to make sure that their youngsters had been out there to take these classes, and this meant much more information.

As well as, some customers transformed most of their voice calls into information calls, utilizing apps like WhatsApp, Fb, skype, Google and so forth.

Many manufacturers additionally needed to rethink their promoting and promotion methods. There was hardly want for adopting digital billboards and roadshows since individuals had been confined to their properties. A few of these firms took the choices of on-line conferences, webinars, reside classes on Instagram and Fb, and different alternatives to work together and interact with their prospects on-line. These, after all, got here with information implications for the viewers.

Lots of info that would have been shared by way of voice calls are actually being finished by way of web connectivity. Stay classes on-line have develop into the surest solution to create actions with a buyer base that you simply would not have private interactions with.


Present information traits, as revealed within the American Enterprise Council Financial e-conference not too long ago held, indicated that hygiene issues about money may very well be answerable for the rise in e-commerce transactions and rising dependence on web connectivity for each work and way of life wants.

Be aware that the info consumption figures said within the article don’t issue within the 3,000 Terabytes (or Three million GB) of knowledge consumed in visiting zero-rated websites through the interval. One Gigabyte of web information prices a median of N300, and multiplied by the free Three million GB, we may very well be virtually N1 billion (N900 million) value of knowledge consumption.

Add this determine to the precise N154 billion of knowledge income MTN recorded within the two quarters, and the N92 billion of knowledge income for Airtel Nigeria within the two quarters, and we will see that Nigerians used a minimum of N247 billion value of knowledge in H1 2020. This determine will not be conclusive, after all because it doesn’t consider information income from the opposite two telcos – Globacom and 9Mobile.

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Based on Bola Asiru, Principal/Divisional Lead at MasterCard Advisors (Sub-Saharan Africa), shopper habits have been fully modified by the pandemic, and it’s now harder to foretell shopping for behaviours. Nonetheless, what is definite is that there’s going to be a variety of contactless enterprise operations, and the info want will surge even greater amongst Nigerians.

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