Total assets base of mobile operators in Nigeria increased by 130 per cent between 2017, and 2018, hitting N1.95 trillion last year, from N847.97 billion.These assets include all facilities that make communications seamless in Nigeria, like the base transceiver stations, fibre cables, network operation centre, data centres, among others.
According to the 2018 Subscribers/Network Data report by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), MTN’s asset, which stood at N36.1 billion in 2017, increased to N999.5 billion in 2018. Globacom’s asset rose from N439.1 billion to N552.4 billion; Airtel N285.1 billion to N360.3 billion; EMTS N25.5 billion to N27. 3 billion; Smile N29.1 billion to N22.9 billion, and Ntel N36.03 billion to N47.9 billion. The 85-Page document showed that the total number of staff reported by the mobile operators (MTN, Glo, Airtel, EMTS, Smile and Ntel) as at December, 2018 were a total of 7,567; 188 expatriates and 7,379 Nigerians. Further breakdown in this category revealed that 4,926 of the Nigerian staff are male while the outstanding 2,453 are female. Similarly, 185 are male expatriates and three are female expatriates.
Furthermore, as at the period under review, MTN had employed 130 males, 568 females, which are Nigerians, while expatriates included 15 males and one female. Glo employed 2,199 males, and 941 females with 160 expatriates, which were a male and two females. India’s Bharti Airtel only had six expatriates, with local workforce made up of 416 males and 167 females. EMTS, trading as 9Mobile in the country, had one expatriate, who is a male, while other employees, who are Nigerians, include 809 males and 585 females. Smile, according to NCC, had three expatriate, which are males as last December, while 123 males and 83 females. On its part, Ntel had 249 males, and 109 females.In the areas of revenue, NCC statistics showed that the mobile operators as at last December recorded total revenue of N1, 784,754,010,000. This reflected an increase of 13.9 per cent from N1, 569,861,900,000 revenue reported in 2017.
Specifically, MTN, which had N884 billion in 2017, rose to N1, 037 trillion in 2018. Globacom rose from N157.2 billion to N165.9 billion; Airtel from N315.2 billion to N399.5 billion. 9Mobile had N195.7 billion in 2017 but went down to N166.9 billion in 2018.Smile Communications Limited in 2018 recorded N11.1 billion from N8.9 billion in 2017, and Ntel fell as well from N8.5 billion to N4.4 billion. The 2018 NCC report showed that the total operating cost as at December 2018 for the mobile operators stood at N1, 461,019, 890, 000. This illustrates a growth of 0.6 per cent from revenue figures reported in 2017, which was N1, 452,302,550,000.MTN, which controls 38 per cent of the market, rose from N685.5 billion to N768.4 billion; Glo from N56.1 billion to N165. 2 billion; Airtel from N264.5 billion to N284.1 billion; EMTS has N304.6 billion in 2017 and N217.1 billion in 2018; Smile N32.3 billion to N12.3 billion, and Ntel N9.2 billion to N13.9 billion within the period.
Further analysis of the data showed the total volume of data consumed by Nigerian subscribers increased by 50 per cent to 68,154.12 terabytes in December 2018 from 45,450.26 terabytes a year earlier.According to NCC, as of December 2018, the total active Internet subscriptions for the mobile segment was 112.06 million reflecting a 7.2 per cent increase from 98.69 million reported in December 2017. Three of the four major GSM operators reported growth in subscription between December 2017 and December 2018.The 2018 data report showed that subscribers to Airtel Internet services grew by 24.1 per cent; MTN subscribers rose by 21.7 per cent and Globacom Internet users grew by 3.9 per cent. However, 9mobile’s Internet subscription declined by 1.38 per cent during the 12 months under review.The regulator attributed declined subscription on the 9mobile network to low gross sales experienced within the year.The mobile market segment, according to NCC, accounted for 111.63 million of the total active mobile Internet subscriptions as of December 2018.The broadband penetration figure as of December 2018 stood at 31.48 per cent with total active 3G subscriptions at 47.33 million and 4G at 12.76 million. The data showed that tele-density increased from 103.61 per cent in December 2017 to 123.48 per cent in December 2018.