Nigeria’s Telco sector records 15% growth as MTN maintains dominance

NIGERIA – A report by the Nigerian Communications Commission has shown that revenue for telecom operators in the country grew by 15 percent to reach US$6.21 billion (N2.25 trillion) up from US$5.41 billion (N1.96 trillion) recorded in 2017.

There was however a decline in telecommunications infrastructure development by 62 percent from US$233.7 million (N84.7 billion) in 2017 to US$88.55 million (N32.1billion) in 2018.

According to the commission, the figure was based on the number of responses it received from the network operators in the country.

Nigeria has a total of 12 GSM operators with MTN, Globacom and Airtel being the largest in terms of market share.

Data from the NCC showed that revenues from all the 12 operators increased by 13.6 per cent from US$4.33 billion (N1.57 trillion) in 2017 to US$4.91 billion (N1.7 trillion) in 2018. This accounted for over 79 percent of the revenue collected in the sector.

Internet service providers however recorded the biggest growth in revenue. Their revenues grew by 23.4 per cent to reach US$120.91 million (N43.83billion) in 2018 from US$98.01 million (N35.53billion) in 2017.

Fixed network operators also recorded an improvement of 1.5 per cent in their revenue from US$11.17 million (N4.05billion) to US$11.34 million (N4.11 billion) in the period under review.

Other operators made up of value added services, collocation companies, interconnect firms among others also recorded an impressive performance.

These operators recorded an 18.2 percent revenue growth from US$ 963.31 million (N349.2 billion) to US$1.13 billion (N412.77 billion) in one year.

Telecom operators however recorded a two percent increase in operating costs from US$ 4.74 billion (N1.72 trillion) in 2017 to US$4.86 billion (N1.76 trillion) in 2018.

Although the period experienced a decline in infrastructure development, the NCC said there was substantial telecom infrastructure growth.

According to NCC, operators reported a total of 52,160 Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) and co-location towers, 334,314km of microwave, 151 gateways and 84,580.7km of fibre optics.

These installation are very crucial in telecommunication because they affect the quality of service experienced by subscribers.

Data from NCC showed that mobile network operators added 39 BTS in one year, from 30,598 in December 2017 to 30,637 in December 2018.

According to the report, MTN owned the highest number of base stations which amounted to 14,715 while Lagos was leading state with a total of 4,764 base stations.

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