LICENSEES in Nigeria’s $75.6 billion telecoms sector have directly employed 15, 507 workers as of December 2022. Amongst these workers, there were 419 expatriates’ employees.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), which revealed this, aggregated the work forces under GSM, Fixed operators, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Value Added Service (VAS), Collocation and Infrastructure (C&I) providers and other segments.
Specifically, the GSM operators, which include MTN, Globacom, Airtel and 9mobile employed 7,451 employees; Fixed Operators, 260; ISPs, 4,481; VAS, 560; C&I, 1,762, while other players employed 993 in the last two decades of the telecoms revolution in Nigeria.
These data, which are contained in the 2022 Subscriber/ Network Data Yearly report, further revealed that the mobile network operators, which employed 4,735 males and 2,535 females, had as of December 2022, 181 expatriates (177 males and four females). The Fixed telephone operators (21stCentury, ipNX, Swift, among others) had 174 males and 86 females with 86 expatriate staff.
The ISPs including Spectranet, Cyberspace, Tizeti, MainOne among others employed 3,427 males; 1,054 females and 51 expatriates’ workers. C&I players including IHS, ATC and others had 1,395 male workers and 314 women with 53 expatriates. VAS operators on the other hand had 385 males; 166 females and nine expatriates.
According to NCC, other telecoms operators, which employed 757 males; 197 females and had 39 expatriates.
Further analysis of the report showed that the quartet of MTN, Globacom, Airtel and 9mobile explored Number Portability scheme to exchange quantum number of subscribers since inception of the scheme in Nigeria.
Recall that Mobile Number Portability (MNP) was launched in Nigeria on April 22, 2013.
According to NCC, from May 2013 to December 2022, 9mobile had the highest count of Port-in subscribers (676,944) while Airtel, MTN and GLO respectively recorded the following counts of Port-in as follows (331,837); (181,301) and (105,746).
Similarly, the analysis from May 2013 to December 2022 revealed that MTN had the highest number of subscribers that ported-out (444,226) to other networks while.
Airtel, GLO and & 9mobile are as follows (351,422); (277,527) and (190,742) respectively.
According to the commission, the increase noted in Port-In activities was attributed majorly to the effect of the directive from NCC in April 2021 to all GSM Operators lifting the ban on the sale and registration of new SIMs, SIM swaps and all porting activities following the conclusion of the Commissions nationwide audit of Subscriber Registration Database.
MNP is a process that enables consumers to change service provider whilst keeping their existing mobile number. At the beginning, it appeared as a game-changer because it provided a range of options for the consumers and promoted effective competition by allowing consumers to switch between service providers without the associated costs or inconveniences of changing their mobile numbers.
But many years down the line, the traction, which greeted its launch, appeared to have evaporated as Nigerians subscribers have been used to carry more than one SIM because of poor quality of service. The MNP was intentioned to give subscribers opportunity to switch from one network to another but painfully, poor quality of service is across board, without any operator exempted.