Telecoms operators recorded 2.47 per cent growth in quarter one (Q1) 2020, but the rate fell by 0.62 per cent compared to what was recorded in Q4 of 2019. According to the Statistics released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) showed that the 2.47 per cent was the combined growth for the four major operators, namely MTN, Globacom, Airtel and Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services Nigeria Ltd (EMTS) operating as 9Mobile.

Specifically, the statistics revealed that MTN grew by seven per cent in Q1, as against 5.26 per cent recorded in the last quarter of 2019. Globacom, which had 5.06 per cent growth in Q4, 2020, recorded 0.30 per cent in Q1 2020. Airtel grew by 2.22 per cent in Q1, 2020 as against 2.67 per cent recorded in last quarter in 2019. But 9Mobile’s growth contracted. The statistics showed a negative 11.03 per cent in the last quarter of 2019, and another negative 11.13 per cent in the first quarter of 2020.

In the fixed wired/wireless segment, VGC/MTN, which had 11.27 per cent growth in the last quarter of 2019, grew by 1.13 per cent in the first three month of 2020. 21st Century, which recorded a negative growth of 0.84 per cent late last year, grew by 0.18 per cent early in 2020. IPNX that ended 2019 with a negative 1.30 per cent, leaped by 0.05 per cent in Q1 2020, while Globacom, which also played in that space grew by 3.51 per cent in Q1, 2020 against 5.36 per cent growth seen last quarter of 2019.

According to NCC, the combined growth for all the operators late last year which was a negative 0.45 per cent, recorded improvement the Q1, 2020 with 0.31 per cent.For the Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) players, where Smile and Ntel are pitched, the combined growth for the sub-segment was 12.16 per cent in Q1 2020 against a negative 0.85 per cent. NCC only showed Smile Communications performance, which was negative 0.47 per cent in Q4, 2019 but leaped to 12.16 per cent in 2020.

Meanwhile, the country’s teledensity, since the telecom revolution started, has hit the 100 per cent mark. From May, it has peaked at 100.72 per cent. Further analysis of the statistics showed that about 1.46 million new lines were activated by MTN, Globacom, Airtel and 9Mobile in May. The figure rose from 190.8 million in April to peak at 192.3 million in May.

In terms of Internet connections, the operators connected 2.42 million new users, making the figure to rise from 138.7 million in April to 141.2 million in the subsequent month.