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Telecom operators invested N471.9bn in 2019, says NCC

The capital investment of mobile network operators and other telecom service providers in 2019 stood at N471.91bn, growing by seven per cent; the latest report by the Nigerian Communications Commission has shown.

The capital investment of operators increased from N440.6bn in 2018 to N471.91bn in 2019, the 2019 subscribers’/network data report stated.

The commission said this figure was based on the responses received from five mobile network providers and 16 other telecoms operators in the country.

The capital expenditure of five mobile network operators declined by 1.8 per cent from a total investment of N316.09bn in 2018 to N310.14bn in 2019.

A breakdown of the data showed that MTN had the highest investment among the MNOs, reporting an investment of N197.59bn in 2019 compared with 2018, when it invested N201.02bn in its network.

Airtel spent N74.36bn on improving its network in 2019 as against N80.71bn in 2018.

Globacom spent N34.23bn on its network in 2019 as against N31.92bn the company invested in 2018.

Emerging Markets Telecommunications Service, (9mobile) invested N3.91bn to improve it network in 2019 compared with N2.31bn spent in 2018.

Also, Ntel invested N47m on its network in 2019 as against N137m in 2018.

Other operators such as tower companies, value added service providers, colocation infrastructure companies and interconnect exchanges, among others, invested a total of N161.77bn in 2019.

This figure represents 30 per cent increase in investment from N124.51bn spent by the operators in 2018.

The NCC report stated that a total of 58,755 base transceiver stations and co-location towers were recorded.

Out of these, the report stated that 34,033 base stations representing 58 per cent were owned by the MNOs.

According to the statistics, the mobile operators added 3,396 new base stations in 2019, having reported a total of 30,637 base stations in 2018.

The report said, “As at December 2019, MTN owned the highest number of base stations standing at 16,796 base stations.”

By December 2019, Airtel had deployed 8,924 BTS; Glo had a total of 7,516 base stations; Ntel owned 675 BTS; 9mobile had 120 BTS while Smile owned two base stations.

Findings showed that the top five states with highest number of base stations were Lagos, 5,375; Ogun, 2,122; Rivers, 1,989; FCT, 1,826 and Oyo, 1,446.

States with the least number of base stations are Yobe, 244; Zamfara, 248; Gombe, 305; Jigawa, 316; Ebonyi, 328 and Kebbi, 330.

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