Telecos revenue hits N2.268tr in 2020

By: JIMI DAVID

Despite the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic that crippled businesses globally, mobile telecommunications brands in Nigeria recorded a total revenue of N2.268trillion as at December 2020 as against N2.019trillion recorded in 2019, revealed the latest report of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

According to the report, this is an increase of 12.33 per cent of total revenue from the telcos while their total operating cost (OPEX) declined from N1.415trillion in 2019 to N1.395trillion at the end of last year.

This, NCC said, showed a slight decline (reduction in operational cost) of 1.46 per cent from the figures reported in 2019. The reduction in operating cost may have been as a result of investment in capital expenditures (CAPEX) that are more efficient.

According to the Commission’s 2020 Subscriber/Network Data Report prepared by its  Policy Competition and Economic Analysis Department, the total value of assets reported by the MNOs during the period under review increased from N2. 923trillion in 2019 to N3.444trillion at end of last year. This represents an increase of 18.81 per cent increase in the value of assets reported in the previous year.

On local CAPEX investments in the industry, the MNOs reported a total CAPEX of N404, 819trillion as against the N339. 77trillion invested last year.

The data which also captured prepaid and postpaid mobile voice subscriptions in the country showed that total prepaid mobile voice subscriptions increased from 179,249,965 in December, 2019 to 199,043,508 as last December, indicating an increase of 11.04 per cent growth in prepaid Mobile Voice subscriptions.

“Similarly post-paid Mobile Voice Subscriptions increased from 5,208,832 in December, 2019 to 5,450,774 as at December, 2020 indicating an increase of 4.64 per cent growth in postpaid Mobile Voice Subscriptions at the end of 2020.

“In summary, the above analysis indicates that about 97.1 per cent of mobile subscribers are pre-paid subscribers while only about 2.8 per cent are postpaid subscribers,” the Commission noted.

The Northwest and Southwest geo-political zones recorded the highest number of subscriptions in the zones while the Northeast zone recorded the least number of subscriptions due to the insecurity situation of the zone that hampered investment.

There was also 29 per cent of the active subscription in the Southwest zone; the Northwest had 19 per cent of active voice subscription; while the Northeast had the least percentage of active voice subscription of 10 per cent.

The total number of national Short Message Service (SMS) or text messages both sent and received as at December 2020 was 17,364,524,490.02. This is a decline of 43.6 per cent from that of the total SMS sent and received last year that stood at 30,769,238,164.56.

There was however a 29.4 per cent increase in the number of SMS sent out last year compared to the previous year.

“Conversely, 2020 count of Incoming SMS declined by 62.6 per cent higher than that of year 2019. MTN recorded the highest count of SMS received (6,290,889,268) in Year 2020 the highest count of SMS sent (6,100,543,865) within the period under review,” the report noted.

Also, the total number of international SMS sent increased from 56,205,299 in 2019 to 57,566,961 as at December last year; indicating a 2.4 per cent increase in international SMS received last year. Similarly, the number of international SMS received in2019 increased from 183,518,472 to 229,173,132 SMS last year translating to a 24.9 per cent increase.

Airtel recorded the highest count of incoming SMS (173,756,541) while MTN recorded the highest count of SMS sent (42,444,130) last year.

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