Nigeria - Telecoms Infrastructure, Operators, Regulations - Statistics and Analyses
Nigeria has one of the largest telecom markets in Africa, supported by the second largest economy on the continent after South Africa. Given the potential for further growth, the sector attracts considerable foreign investment. Far reaching liberalisation in recent years has led to hundreds of companies, many of them small and localised, providing varied telecom and value-added services in an effectively regulated market.
The mobile sector has benefited from market competition and the wider deployment of LTE services during the last two years, which has supported operator revenue and encouraged the adoption of mobile broadband among subscribers. Other than the key mobile network operators, there are a number of additional players operating under a unified licensing regime.
After a decade of failed privatisation attempts, the incumbent national telco Nitel and its mobile arm M-Tel went into liquidation, with the NATCOM Consortium acquiring the telco in March 2015 for some $252 million.
Nigeria has the most competitive fixed-line market in Africa, featuring a second national operator (Globacom) and over 80 other companies licensed to provide fixed-telephony services. The alternative carriers combined now provide around 85% of all fixed connections while the ailing incumbent.
Several microwave and fibre-based national backbone networks are being rolled out by various companies. Nitel's monopoly on international fibre bandwidth via the SAT-3/WASC submarine cable system ended in 2009 when Globacom's Glo-1 cable landed in the country. Additional submarine cables which have landed subsequently, supported by improved domestic fibre infrastructure, have delivered a further boost to the country's developing broadband sector by improving bandwidth and reducing prices for end-users.
MTN Nigeria secures licence for spectrum in the 2.6GHz band; NCC and NITDA establish joint committee to collaborate on efforts to develop the telecoms and ICT sectors; government proposes new tax on telecom services; regulator hopes for the telecoms sector to account for up to 25% of GDP by 2025; government shelves plans to sell NigComSat; Lagos State government agrees to abolish arbitrary charges on telcos in the state; regulator cracks down on poor quality of service; new price caps and lower interconnection rates; number portability finally introduced; efforts continue to promote infrastructure sharing; report update includes the regulator's market data to June 2016, operator data to Q2 2016, recent market developments.