Telecoms industry gets N358b direct foreign investments

Nigeria’s telecommunications sector welcomed $942.8 million (N358.26 billion) capital inflow, popularly known as Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs), in 2019.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), which disclosed this in the 2019 Subscriber/Network Data, based on Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) confirmation, however, put capital expenditure (CAPEX) – domestic investment – at N494.7 billion.

The document, which was premised on statistics from the GSM players and 16 other service providers, revealed that the total operating cost of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and other service providers declined from N1.759 trillion in 2018 to N1.756 trillion in 2019, representing about 0.2 per cent drop.

Specifically, the major GSM operators – MTN, Airtel, Globacom, and 9Mobile – had an operating cost of N1.461 trillion in 2018 but fell to N1.392 trillion in the year under review. The Fixed operators recorded N3.1 to N3.7 billion during the period.

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The Internet Service Providers (ISPs), which had N36.8 billion in 2018, posted N41.1 billion a year after.

In terms of revenue, the regulator disclosed that the combined income of N2.25 trillion for all players in 2018 rose to N2.468 trillion last year.

The GSM operators generated N1.962 trillion, Fixed, N4.3 billion, ISPs, N53.7 billion, while the rest got N449 billion.

Aside from the quartet of MTN, Airtel, Globacom, and 9Mobile, other operators in the report include SMILE, Visafone, and Ntel.

A further breakdown shows that operators processed 1.96 billion international calls during the period, where outgoing calls were 257.8 million, and incoming hitting 1.7 billion.

Of the figures, MTN accounted for 1.2 billion. Airtel came second with 381.4 million. Globacom is third with 271.3 million. Emerging Market Telecommunications Service (EMTS), which plays as 9Mobile, processed 153.9 million. SMILE and Ntel recorded 451, 557, and 874,106 international calls.

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Regarding roaming minutes in 2019, NCC put the total number of outgoing and incoming for the mobile operators at 9,449,021 and 60,583,648 minutes. MTN posted the highest incoming and outgoing timing of 41,587,485 and 80,721,676.

Other operators, Globacom had 8,382,761 and 1,947,583; Airtel, 8,017,836 and 2,344,703 and 9Mobile achieved 2,595,566 and 4,435,058 minutes.

The report further showed that 30.8 billion short message service (texts) were exchange in 2019 within Nigeria, where 6.35 billion were sent and 24.11 billion received.

Subscribers used Globacom network to receive 18.4 billion text messages, while 1.2 billion were sent out through the platform. MTN got 3.97 billion and sent out 3.6 billion; Airtel processed 1.12 billion messages and received 1.59 billion.

Users of 9Mobile network, on the other hand, sent 385 million SMS and acknowledged receipt of 403 million.

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Meanwhile, international exchanges as at December 2019 were 56,205,299 while total number of SMS received was 183,518,472. In this regard, users deployed MTN network to initiate 31,763,227 messages and receive 8,014,285; Globacom sent 6,527,919 and got 3,285,046; Airtel executed15, 349,064 and received 135,442,243; 9Mobile sent 2,386,805, and got 36,536,376. SMILE network’s tally was 23,800 and 85,968, while Ntel mailed 154,484 and took delivery of 154,554.

The total volume of data consumed by subscribers for the period increased from 68,154.12 TB in December 2018 to 125,149.86 TB in the corresponding year, indicating a 83.62 per cent year-on-year increase.

The development was linked to the enhanced broadband penetration in the country during the time, which was put at 37.80 per cent besides other regulatory support for operators to implement their various initiatives.

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