The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has disclosed that it granted two mobile network operators, MTN and 9mobile, approval to carry out a trial on national roaming services for a period of 3 months.
According to the NCC, the trial started on August 1, 2020, and is expected to end on October 31, 2020.
While making the disclosure on Sunday, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta, said the primary objective of the National Roaming Service is to encourage network resource sharing among operators.
With the approval, the telecommunication firms are expected to configure their networks to begin test and simulation for customer experience. The trial covers a few local governments, designated as the National Roaming geographic area, in Ondo State.
Roaming service enables a mobile subscriber to automatically make and receive voice calls, send and receive data, or access other services when travelling outside the coverage of a particular network geographical area by utilizing the network coverage of other networks.
Danbatta disclosed that the National Roaming Services would lead to operational expenditure (OPEX) optimization and capital expenditure (CAPEX) efficiencies capable of freeing up resources to expand mobile network coverage to unserved and underserved communities across the country.
He said the measure is also expected to lead to improved quality of service delivery to subscribers.
Danbatta said, “The successful implementation of the trial will enable 9Mobile subscribers to access MTN network service within the National Roaming trial geographical areas without the need for an MTN Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) card.”
What this means: National roaming services means that subscribers in Nigeria can seamlessly make calls in areas of the country where their network operators do not cover, because such networks have entered into an agreement with other operators that have services in those geographical areas.
The subscribers to the various telecoms are already enjoying these services from their network providers, when they travel outside the country.
Airtel denies giving free N1,000 recharge
Airtel has dismissed claims that it gave away free airtime to its subscribers.
Airtel Nigeria has denied rolling out free N1,000 recharge to its numerous subscribers.
This was disclosed on Monday, by a source in the Telco, who preferred to be anonymous as he is not permitted to talk officially on behalf of the company.
He said, “Airtel is not giving out airtime worth N1,000. It is not true.”
Efforts to get the official response from Airtel Nigeria were abortive, as its Vice President, Corporate Communications and CSR, Emeka Opara refused to pick calls or respond to inquiries sent to him as at the time of this report.
The denial came after an alleged hacker, Anonymous took to Twitter asking Airtel Nigeria’s subscribers to check their balance that they have been credited with N1,000 airtime.
However, following the claim by Anonymous, many Airtel subscribers on Twitter claimed to have received the free airtime in their phones.
Check your Airtel balance✊🏻❤️
— Anonymous (@iiampsticks) October 19, 2020
Some reactions from subscribers on Twitter
I just checked my Airtel balance and I saw 1000 added to it
— Bop Daddy ❼ (@nawheem) October 19, 2020
They gave me o😲but why dey no deduct their loan of 6months na😒😩 pic.twitter.com/kIE6nEGHve
— Marion Leslie (@_MarionLeslie) October 19, 2020
And I’m yet to enjoy any of this!🤦♀️ Who do me😭😭😭😭
— Veenas Corner💋 (@VeenasCorner) October 19, 2020
MTN, Glo, Airtel, 3 others increase assets by N804.09 billion
MTN, Glo, Airtel and 3 others increased their assets by N804.08 billion or 0.38% in 2019.
MTN Nigeria, Glo, Airtel Nigeria, and three other Mobile Network Operators in Nigeria have increased their assets by N804.08 billion or 0.38% in 2019.
This was disclosed by the Nigerian Communications Commission in its 2019 Subscribers/Network Data Report released recently.
The 2019 Subscriber/Network Data Report stated that the total value of assets in the industry increased from N2.11trillion in 2018 to N2.91trillion as of the end of 2019.
According to the report, MTN reported the highest value in assets in 2019 at N1.53trillion, indicating a 63% increase from N939.56billion reported in 2018.
The total value of Globacom’s assets as contained in the report as of the end of 2019 was N598.17billion, representing a 1% growth from N592.08billion in 2018.
Airtel Nigeria’s assets grew by 43% in 2019 from N357.75billion in 2018 to N510.99billion as of the end of 2019.
EMTS that operates as 9mobile grew its assets to N217.05billion in 2019 from N162.64billion reported in 2018, recording 33% growth in assets.
The report stated that Smile’s assets reached N22.9billion as of the end of 2019, growing by 0.4% from N22.8billion recorded in 2018.
However, Ntel recorded 11% decline in the value of assets in 2019, from N34.23billion in 2018 to N30.58billion in 2019.
The NCC report stated that the mobile operators as of December 2019 recorded a total revenue of N1.96trillion as against N1.78trillion recorded in Year 2018.
This reflects an increase of 10.11% of the total revenue recorded by mobile network operators.
MTN recorded the highest revenue in 2019 at N1.17tn, while Ntel recorded the lowest sum of N4.61bn as of the end of 2019.
EMTS recorded a decline of 18% in revenue generated year-on-year.
According to the report, the company’s revenue declined from N169.15bn in 2018 to N138.67bn as of the end of 2019.
The report stated that the total operating cost of the Mobile Network Operators declined from N1.40tn in 2018 to N1.39tn as of the end of 2019.
This indicates a slight reduction in operational cost of 0.53% from the figures reported in 2018.
The NCC stated that the reduction in operating cost may have been as a result of investment in capital expenditure that was more efficient.
The industry regulator noted that Smile and Ntel recorded the highest percentage decline of 22% and 16% respectively in operating costs year-on-year.
MTN, Airtel, Glo, other Telcos’ operating costs drop to N1.756 trillion in 2019
The revenue of the Telcos increased from N 2.245 trillion in year 2018 to N 2.468 trillion as at the end of Year 2019.
MTN, Airtel, Glo and other Telco’s operating cost declined from N1.759 trillion in the year 2018 to N 1.756 trillion as at end of the year 2019. This represents a 0.2% loss within the period under review.
This was disclosed in the Nigerian Communication Commission’s Subscriber/Network Data report, which is based on the submissions received from MTN, Airtel, Glo, EMTS, Smile and Ntel among others, that was published on Tuesday.
It is important to note that the data obtained were not limited to the GSM segment but included Fixed operators, Internet Service Providers (ISP) and other operators.
Breakdown: While MTN’s operating cost in Nigeria fell from N768.42 million in 2018 to N767.70 million in 2019, Airtel Nigeria’s cost increased from N281.89 million to N285.73 million within same period.
Glo, EMTS, Smile and Ntel spent N162.41 million against N169.85 million, N159.80 million down to N146.94 million, N12.33 million down to N9.51 million and N14.60 million against N12.24 million respectively.
According to the report, the revenue of the Telcos increased from N 2.245 trillion in year 2018 to N 2.468 trillion as at the end of Year 2019. This represents a 9.93% increase in revenue Year on Year.
The total number of staff for responsive licensees at Year end 2019 stands at 14,828 staff composition.
For instance, the total number of Staff reported by the Mobile operators (MTN, GLO, Airtel, EMTS, Smile and Ntel) as at December, 2019 was a total of 7,750 recording.
They are 189 expatriates and 7,561 Nigerians. Further breakdown in this category as revealed by NCC, showed that 4,986 of the Nigerian Staff are Male while the outstanding 2,575 are female. Similarly, 185 are male expatriates and 4 are female expatriates.
Towers across states
The report revealed that the top five states with highest number of towers are Lagos- 9,860; Ogun- 3,398; Rivers- 3,329; FCT- 3,034 and Oyo- 2,842; while the states with the least number of base stations are: Jigawa-316; Yobe- 422; Zamfara- 434; Gombe 521- and Kebbi- 561.
What it means: The number of existing base stations in the country invariably affects the quality of service (QOS) within the country thereby positively impacting the level of telephone penetration within the nation, which equates to attracting foreign investment and growth in the telecoms industry.