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Nigeria - Telecoms Infrastructure, Operators, Regulations - Statistics and Analyses


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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.

Key developments:

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.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Nigerian Telecommunications (Nitel, Pentascope, Transcorp), Globacom, VGC Communications (MTN), Nepskom Communications, MTS First Wireless, Suburban Telecom, Backbone Connectivity Network (BCN), Traffic Network Services, Fibre Tech West Africa, Phase3 Telecom, Alheri Engineering, Gateway Telecoms Integrated Services, Mobitel Nigeria, Prestel (O-Mobile), Galaxy Backbone, 21st Century Technologies, Main One (Mainstreet Technologies), Brymedia, NigComSat, O3b Networks, WASACE.


1. Synopsis
2. Key statistics
3. Country overview
4. Telecommunications market
4.1 Historical overview
5. Regulatory environment
5.1 Regulatory authority
5.2 National Telecommunications Policy (NTP)
5.3 Nigerian Communications Act
5.4 West African common regulatory framework
5.5 Class Licence policy extension
5.6 Interconnection
5.7 Infrastructure sharing
5.8 No regulation on state level
5.9 2.6GHz auction 2016
5.10 Universal service
5.10.1 National Rural Telephony Program (NRTP)
5.10.2 National Information Technology Development (NITD) Fund
5.10.3 Backbone Transmission Infrastructure Project (BTRAIN)
5.11 Telecom sector liberalisation
5.11.1 Globacom's SNO licence
5.11.2 Regional fixed-wireless access (FWA) licences
5.11.3 International gateway licences
5.11.4 Unified licensing regime
5.11.5 Regional broadband infrastructure licences
5.12 Privatisation of Nitel
5.12.1 IPO
5.12.2 Liquidation
6. Fixed network operators
6.1 Nigerian Telecommunications (Nitel, defunct)
6.1.1 Network infrastructure
6.1.2 National backbone network
6.1.3 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
6.1.4 Services
6.1.5 Debts
6.1.6 The Pentascope period, 2003-2005
6.1.7 The Transcorp period, 2006-2009
6.1.8 Privatisation attempts 2010-2012
6.1.9 Liquidation
6.2 Globacom
6.2.1 Network infrastructure
6.2.2 Fibre optic backbone network
6.2.3 International presence
6.2.4 Services
6.2.5 International expansion
6.3 VGC Communications, MTN
6.4 National Long-Distance Operators (NLDO)
6.5 Fixed-wireless network operators
6.5.1 MTS First Wireless
6.5.2 Mobitel Nigeria
6.5.3 Prestel (O-Mobile)
6.5.4 Regional FWA operators
7. Telecommunications infrastructure
7.1 Overview of the national telecom network
7.2 Backbone networks
7.2.1 National Information Infrastructure Backbone (NIIB)
7.2.2 Galaxy Backbone
7.2.3 Suburban Telecom
7.2.4 Phase3 Telecom
7.2.5 Backbone Connectivity Network (BCN)
7.2.6 Private networks
7.3 Terrestrial fibre
7.3.1 The Central African Backbone (CAB)
7.3.2 Nigeria Niger link
7.4 International infrastructure
7.4.1 Submarine fibre
7.4.2 Satellite
8. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics 2015
Table 2 Fixed-line network statistics 2016 (e)
Table 3 Internet provider statistics 2016
Table 4 Internet user statistics 2016 (e)
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2016 (e)
Table 6 National telecommunications authority
Table 7 Telecom sector contribution to GDP 2010 - 2016
Table 8 Financial bids for Nitel/M-Tel, first and second round 2010
Table 9 Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity 1999 - 2009
Table 10 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2010 - 2017
Table 11 Fixed-wireless lines by operator 2014 - 2016
Table 12 Fixed-wired lines by operator 2014 - 2016
Table 13 International internet bandwidth in Nigeria 2001 - 2015
Chart 1 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2005 - 2017
Exhibit 1 Regional FWA licensees
Exhibit 2 Regional FWA licensees in Nigeria

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