Ncell customer spending drops on lower tariffsAverage monthly spending by Ncell customers dropped by Rs57 each in the third quarter of 2016 as Nepal’s largest private telecom company slashed tariffs for voice and data packages.
Average monthly spending by Ncell customers dropped by Rs57 each in the third quarter of 2016 as Nepal’s largest private telecom company slashed tariffs for voice and data packages.
Post-paid subscribers each spent Rs381 on average per month on voice and data services between July and September, down from Rs438 per month during the same period in 2015.
Likewise, prepaid service users each spent Rs343 monthly during the review period this year compared to Rs366 monthly a year ago, according to a financial report published by Axiata, the parent company of Ncell.
Ncell refused to comment on the reasons that prompted average revenues per unit to take a dip, but it is believed that a drop in prices of voice and data packages was the main reason for the reduced spending.
Despite a decline in the average revenue per person, Ncell’s total income rose 3 percent in the third quarter of 2016 due to an increase in the number of new subscribers and data users, shows the financial report.
Ncell’s revenues totalled Rs14.9 billion during the period July to September, up from Rs14.4 billion during the same period in 2015, according to the financial report.
Including the earnings for the third quarter, Ncell’s revenues amounted to Rs44.3 billion in the first nine months of 2016. First and second quarter revenues totalled Rs14 billion and Rs15.4 billion respectively. The higher income came on the back of an expansion in Ncell’s subscriber base. Ncell’s customer base expanded to 14.4 million as of the end of September from 13 million in September 2015. Among them, 13.9 million, or 96.5 percent, are prepaid users.
Lately, the company has also been able raise the number of data users. As of September-end, 41.9 percent of Ncell’s service users were data users. The figure stood at 36.6 percent in September last year. With the hike in the number of data users, the contribution of data to Ncell’s total revenues has now gone up to 17 percent from 11 percent in September last year. Ncell’s revenues from data service are increasing as customers have started to consume more data.
Today, every data user of Ncell consumes 193 megabytes (MB) compared to 104 MB in September 2015. With this growth in appetite for data, Ncell ended up selling 3.4 million gigabytes (GB) of data in the third quarter of 2016, up 126.7 percent year-on-year.
Data consumption is going up in Nepal in line with a rapid hike in the smartphone penetration rate. Nepal’s smartphone penetration rate stood at 39 percent in the third quarter of 2016, as against 36 percent in second quarter of this year, shows the report.