The fast pace of change in Nigeria's broadband sector has seen considerable consolidation among players, from over 400 ISPs in 2012 to around 100 by mid-2015. A number of operators from the fixed-wireless and mobile sectors have entered the market. The delivery of broadband services is dominated by mobile services, principally from GSM and 3G networks, though there are a number of WiMAX operators which have found niche markets. The Internet Protocol (IP)-based next generation networks currently being rolled out are enabling converged voice, data/internet and video services. VoIP is carrying the bulk of Nigeria's international voice traffic. The arrival of additional international submarine fibre-optic cables since 2009 (Glo-1, Main-One, WACS and ACE) broke the monopoly held by Nitel via its SAT-3/WASC cable, and continues to revolutionise the market. The cost of international bandwidth has been reduced by up to 90%, while improved domestic fibre cabling has also helped reduce the cost of broadband services for consumers.
Supported by the expansion of competing national fibre backbone networks, applications such as e-commerce, online banking and e-payments, e-health, e-learning and e-government are rapidly evolving. The government in early 2015 also committed to increasing broadband penetration from about 8% to 36% by 2018.
Two InfraCos named to provide wholesale fibre-based internet access to ISPs; regulator planning spectrum licenses to regional infrastructure companies to extend broadband nationally; government suspends auction of spectrum in the 2.5GHz band; regulator lists Nitel as a defunct operator; consolidation in the ISP sector; explosive growth of mobile broadband subscriptions; more bandwidth from new international submarine fibre optic cables; rapidly evolving digital media and digital economy; government devising strategy to increase broadband penetration to 36% by 2018; update includes regulator data to December 2014, recent market developments.
Companies mentioned in this report:
Nitel; Cyberspace; Hyperia; Linkserve; 21st Century Technologies; PINET Informatics; Odu'a Telecom; Swift Networks; Startech Connection; Netcom Africa; MWEB Nigeria; Gateway Communications; Accelon (Internet Solutions); Galaxy Information Technology and Telecommunication; Polestar; Naija WiFi; Suburban Telecom; Zinox; Direct-on-PC; IP Direct; Starcomms; Layer3; Communication Trends Nigeria; Entertainment Highway (HiTV).