Last week, top telecommunication firm, Airtel Nigeria announced that it has partnered with audio streaming service, Spotify to provide data bonuses for its customers to access unlimited local and foreign audio content on the musical platform. The complimentary data comes at a time when Nigerian artistes and their music have begun appealing to a global audience.
When Spotify launched its service in Nigeria last year, the world’s largest streaming service became the 13th audio-streaming platform to launch in Nigeria. Before then, Nigerians accessed the platform’s services with the aid of a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Shortly after its launch, Spotify established a payment network with Nigerian banks, accepting to operate in Naira, rather than in U.S Dollars, which is at a higher rate.
Outside Nigeria and parts of Africa, it is present in, Spotify’s cheapest monthly subscription plan available to students costs $4.99 (N2,085). Its main plan goes for $10 (N4170). As a monthly subscription, the price is quite high for an economy where two-thirds of its citizens live below $2 a day.
To cater to young Nigerians, who are the highest users of the audio-streaming service, Spotify had to slash its high prices, demanding similar prices to Apple Music and Youtube Music. Students here are required to pay N450 ($1.09) for a monthly plan. This is still the least, compared to individual plans that goes for N900 ($2.19) and family plans going for N1,400 ($3.40).
Although the prices are slashed, many Nigerians are still not able to afford it, making the partnership with Airtel Nigeria feel like a solution to ease streaming prices.
Airtel Spotify bonus
According to Airtel, customers who purchase weekly and monthly data bundles, will receive complimentary data bonuses to stream music and podcast audios unlimitedly, on Spotify, without having to worry about additional data costs.
Investors King learned that if a student subscriber on Spotify gets the N450 subscription plan, your daily Airtel data purchase at N100, specifically for streaming, will allow you access to unlimited local and foreign audio content that will last for 3 days.
How the Bonus can be Used:
On Airtel Streaming, customers can purchase daily, weekly or monthly data subscriptions, allowing them to stream unlimitedly for the given number of days their purchase covers. Airtel Streaming has been designed for streaming on selected platforms, including Spotify.
That is, once you subscribe for Spotify, depending on whatever plan you want, your data purchase for that day, week, or month will come with bonuses that ensure you keep streaming your beloved song or podcast.
A N2000 data purchase for a month, say February, on Airtel Streaming, offers customers 7 gigabytes (GB). Spotify subscribers who buy this data plan will not be limited by a ‘low data’ notification as they can still access their favourite songs on the platform, till February, which the data plan covers ends.
For 30 days also, customers can pay for 15GB worth of data at N3,000, and N5,000 for 30GB. Both data plans on Airtel Streaming will not limit the number of musical content a user has in a month, as bonuses through Airtel’s partnership with Spotify will be made available unlimitedly. Customers are to dial *141# to receive more guidelines.
Nigeria’s 5G Network Subscriptions Soar to Half a Million, Broadband Penetration at 47.01%
The Executive Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, revealed that Nigeria’s Fifth Generation (5G) network subscriptions have surpassed half a million users.
Broadband penetration has surged to 47.01% as of July 2023, marking a significant leap in the country’s telecommunications landscape.
Speaking from Kano, Prof. Danbatta highlighted the remarkable achievements of the telecoms industry since 2015. In July, he reported that 5G subscriptions had surged to over 60,000 in the nation.
Also, he emphasized the nation’s ambitious goals, aiming to achieve 50% broadband penetration by the close of 2023 and a remarkable 70% broadband penetration by the conclusion of 2025.
In a statement, Prof. Danbatta stated, “Moreover, the telecommunications sector has undergone a substantial transformation, with its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growing from 8% in 2015 to an impressive 16% quarterly as of the second quarter of 2023, signifying its growing significance to the Nigerian economy.”
He further elaborated, “Furthermore, the authorization of additional telecommunications companies to operate within Nigeria’s telecoms sector has led to a remarkable upsurge in investments. In 2015, the sector attracted $38 billion in investments, a figure that has now soared to an astonishing $75 billion and continues to rise daily. Notably, the NCC’s sale of 5G C-Band Spectrum has generated over $847.8 million in revenue for the Federal Government.”
In related news, the Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani, emphasized Nigeria’s commitment to bolstering telecommunication connectivity in unserved and underserved communities.
Minister Tijani stressed that connectivity serves as a catalyst for progress and highlighted the nation’s eagerness to establish partnerships aimed at bridging the digital divide.
Nigerian Communications Commission Reports Remarkable Growth in Telecom Sector
Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has revealed impressive figures showcasing the robust growth of telecom investments in the country.
During a recent media interaction held in Kano on Saturday, Danbatta disclosed that the telecom investment inflow in Nigeria had surged from $38 billion to an astounding $77 billion by the second quarter of 2023.
Also, he highlighted that the telecommunications sector had contributed 16 percent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during the same period.
Danbatta attributed this growth to a combination of factors, primarily “thorough sustained regulatory excellence and operational efficiency by the commission.”
Since taking office as the EVC of NCC in 2015, he noted that the sector’s contribution to GDP had more than doubled, from around eight percent to the current 16 percent.
In addition to this, Danbatta underscored the industry’s achievements, stating, “We have witnessed explosive growth, improved regulatory standards, and digital innovation that have generated global recognition.”
He further revealed significant milestones in telecommunications usage, with 218.9 million telephone users, 159.5 million internet subscribers, and 88.7 million broadband users in Nigeria within the reviewed period.
However, Danbatta acknowledged that several challenges still hampered the full potential of broadband deployment in the country. These challenges include issues related to the right of way, fiber cuts, high capital requirements for deployment, multiple taxations, and complex regulations.
Nevertheless, Danbatta assured stakeholders that the NCC was committed to addressing these obstacles and navigating through regulatory complexities, digital divide, and literacy issues.
As part of their initiatives to enhance communication and emergency response, the NCC announced plans to establish emergency communication centers in all 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Furthermore, the commission had increased research grants for universities from N20 million to N30 million, benefitting three universities thus far.
Danbatta explained that the NCC aimed to provide accessible and affordable telecom services as an enabler for the country’s economic advancement.
However, he also highlighted some ongoing challenges, such as the wilful destruction of NCC facilities and the burden of numerous taxes imposed on telecommunications companies.
Despite these challenges, the NCC remains committed to engaging with the media industry and the public to ensure transparency and to keep everyone informed about its activities.
Nigeria’s Largest Telecom Operator, MTN, Enhances Broadband Reach with 10MHz Spectrum Approval
MTN, Nigeria’s leading telecom operator, has received approval for an additional 10MHz spectrum allocation within the 2.6GHz spectrum band.
This development is poised to significantly bolster broadband coverage across all 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory.
Karl Toriola, Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, said, “This additional spectrum will empower us to uphold our commitment to delivering high-quality services to our valued customers while actively supporting the Federal Government’s agenda to expand broadband access nationwide.”
This valuable spectrum allocation was acquired from OpenSkys Services Limited, a reputable indigenous Nigerian telecommunications company licensed by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to provide telecommunication services on the 450MHz frequency band.
The 2.6GHz spectrum band is designated for the deployment of terrestrial mobile broadband services.
According to a report by the GSMA, this spectrum band serves as an ideal complement to the 700MHz-800MHz spectrum bands, forming a formidable combination capable of delivering cost-effective nationwide mobile broadband coverage, encompassing both rural and urban areas.
As of December 2022, broadband penetration in Nigeria stood at 47.36 percent. The Federal Government of Nigeria has set a target of achieving 70 percent broadband penetration by 2025. MTN Nigeria’s acquisition of this broadband spectrum allocation is poised to equip the ICT giant with the capabilities required to offer enhanced broadband services to meet the surging demand for widespread and uniform mobile broadband services nationwide.
In the words of Karl Toriola, “This additional spectrum will empower us to uphold our commitment to delivering high-quality services to our valued customers while actively supporting the Federal Government’s agenda to expand broadband access nationwide.”
MTN believes that the integration of this spectrum allocation will lead to a significant enhancement in the customer experience, aligning perfectly with their dedication to delivering exceptional services.
Also, this acquired spectrum will equip the telecommunications operator with the tools needed to deploy advanced broadband technologies, thereby contributing to the realization of Nigeria’s broadband objectives.
A report by the GSMA underscores the pivotal role of broadband penetration, particularly in developing countries, in driving an increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This highlights the urgent need for continuous development and investment in broadband infrastructure, exemplified by the inclusion of the 2.6GHz spectrum band.
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