Airtel Africa has revealed that its Capex increased 5.8 percent to $457 million during April-December 2022 as it enhanced spending on spectrum and network.
Airtel Africa has also retained Capex guidance (excluding Spectrum) at $700-750 million for FY23-24.
Segun Ogunsanya, chief executive officer, Airtel Africa, said: “Over the last nine months we have spent almost $490 million on 4G and 5G spectrum across key markets to improve network capacity and quality.”
Airtel Africa acquired spectrum in key markets such as Nigeria, DRC, Tanzania, Zambia and Kenya during 9MFY23.
The company has acquired spectrum worth $490 million in Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, DRC and Kenya. Airtel Africa will continue to offer 4G footprints and selectively launch 5G across markets to capture the opportunity.
In October 2022, Airtel Tanzania purchased 110 MHz spectrum spread across the 2600 MHz (2 blocks of 2x15MHz) and 3500 MHz bands from the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) for $60 million.
Airtel Zambia purchased 60 MHz of additional spectrum in October 2022 spread across the 800 MHz and 2600 MHz bands from the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA), for $29 million.
Further, Airtel Africa acquired additional 40 MHz of spectrum in the 2600 band for $12 million in November 2022.
In July 2022, Airtel Kenya Networks purchased 60 MHz of spectrum in the 2600 MHz band from the Communications Authority of Kenya for $40 million, for a period of 15 years.
Airtel DRC purchased 58 MHz of additional spectrum, spread across 900, 1800, 2100 and 2600 MHz bands, for $42 million in June 2022. The licence for paired spectrum in the 2100 band comes up for renewal in September 2032. All the other licences continue until July 2036.
Airtel Nigeria enhanced the 4G network with almost 100 percent of the sites on 4G and a data capacity increase of 28 percent YoY and contributed 4G data customer growth of 21 percent. Around 20 percent people use 4G phones, 15 percent use 3G and 65 percent use 2G phones.n
Airtel Africa’s revenue rose 10.7 percent to $3,914 million.
Airtel Africa’s ARPU grew 7.2 percent, largely driven by increased usage across voice, data, and mobile money. Airtel Africa’s mobile money transaction value increased by 37 percent, to an annualised value of almost $100 billion in Q3 fiscal 2023.
Airtel Africa’s customer base increased 10.1 percent to 138.5 million, as the penetration of mobile data and mobile money services continued to rise, driving the data customer base up 13.6 percent and mobile money customer base up 22.2 percent.