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Nigeria - Key Statistics, Telecom Market and Regulatory Overviews


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

Nigeria is one of the biggest and fastest growing telecom markets in Africa, attracting huge amounts of foreign investment, and is yet standing at relatively low levels of market penetration. Far reaching liberalisation has led to hundreds of companies providing virtually all kinds of telecom and value-added services in an independently regulated market. The mobile sector, which saw triple-digit growth rates five years in a row after competition was introduced, has been joined by a number of additional players under a unified licensing regime which has also boosted the country’s underdeveloped Internet and broadband sector. Third generation (3G) mobile and WiMAX wireless broadband services are being rolled out at a rapid pace, backed by new national and international fibre links. After a decade of failed privatisation attempts, the incumbent national telco Nitel and its mobile arm M-Tel are currently in liquidation.

Key developments:

National telco Nitel in liquidation;
Regulator cracks down on poor quality of service;
New price caps and lower interconnection rates;
Number portability finally introduced;
Efforts to promote infrastructure sharing;
Spectrum auctions.

Companies covered in this report:

Nigerian Telecommunications Ltd (Nitel); Globacom; Bharti Airtel (formerly Zain, Celtel); Etisalat Nigeria (EMTS, Mubadala); M-Tel (Nitel); Visafone; Starcomms; Multi-Links; Gicell Wireless; Mobitel, Spectranet, Smile Communications.


1. Synopsis
2. Key statistics
3. Overview of Nigeria’s telecom market
3.1 Background
3.2 Mobile market
3.3 Fixed-line and fixed-wireless market
3.4 Internet and broadband market
3.5 Telecom investments
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 Nigerian Communications Commission Decree (NCCD)
4.2 National Telecommunications Policy (NTP)
4.3 Nigerian Communications Act
4.4 West African common regulatory framework
4.5 Class Licence policy extension
5. Regulatory authority
5.1 Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)
5.1.1 NCC Challenges and Direction
6. Key regulatory issues
6.1 Interconnection
6.2 Quality of service (QoS)
6.3 Environmental impact of telecom towers
6.4 Infrastructure sharing
6.5 No regulation on state level
6.6 Universal service
6.6.1 National Rural Telephony Program (NRTP)
6.6.2 National Information Technology Development (NITD) Fund
6.7 National emergency numbers
6.8 Mandatory NSE listing
7. Telecom sector liberalisation
7.1 Globacom’s SNO licence
7.2 Regional fixed-wireless access (FWA) licences
7.3 International gateway licences
7.4 Unified licensing regime
8. Privatisation of Nitel
8.1 IPO
8.2 Liquidation
9. Spectrum auctions
9.1 3.5GHz
9.2 800MHz
9.3 2.5GHz and 700MHz
9.4 450MHz
9.5 3G mobile spectrum
9.6 LTE/WiMAX spectrum
10. Related reports
Table 1 – Country statistics – 2013
Table 2 – Fixed-line network statistics – 2013
Table 3 – Internet provider statistics – 2013
Table 4 – Internet user statistics – 2013
Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2013
Table 6 – National telecommunications authority
Table 7 – Financial bids for Nitel/M-Tel, first and second round – 2010
Chart 1 – Financial bids for Nitel/M-Tel, first and second round – 2010
Exhibit 1 – Number of telecom licences by category – April 2013
Exhibit 2 – Regional FWA licensees

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