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

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

Nigeria has one of the largest telecom markets in Africa, supported by the second largest economy on the continent after South Africa. During 2016 the economy went into recession, though GDP growth returned in 2017. Given the potential for further growth, the telecom sector attracts considerable foreign investment. Market liberalisation measures in recent years have led to hundreds of companies, many of them small and localised, being set up to provide a range of telecom and value-added services.

The mobile sector has benefited from market competition and the wider deployment of LTE technologies, which have in turn supported operator revenue growth 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.

The regulator has licensed four regional infrastructure companies (InfraCos) to build a national broadband network and offer capacity to all service providers on a non-discriminatory, open-access and price-regulated basis. An additional three InfraCo licenses are expected to be awarded by March 2018.

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 provide around 85% of all fixed connections, though in general terms about 80% of all connections are wireless.

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. The landing of additional submarine cables (supported by improved domestic fibre infrastructure) has delivered a further boost to the country's developing broadband sector by improving bandwidth and reducing prices for end-users.

Key developments:

Regulator licences two more InfraCos; government pledges to deploy 18,000km of fibre to extend broadband to rural areas; MTN Nigeria secures licence for spectrum in the 2.6GHz band; state oil company NNPC allows part of its fibre infrastructure to be used for telecom services; NCC and NITDA establish joint committee to collaborate on efforts to develop the telecoms and ICT sectors; regulator hopes for the telecoms sector to account for a greater share of GDP by 2025; regulator cracks down on poor quality of service; efforts continue to promote infrastructure sharing; report update includes the regulator's market data to December 2017, operator data to Q3 2017, 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 Interconnection
5.6 Infrastructure sharing
5.7 Telecom taxes
5.8 Universal service
5.8.1 National Rural Telephony Program (NRTP)
5.8.2 National Information Technology Development (NITD) Fund
5.8.3 Backbone Transmission Infrastructure Project (BTRAIN)
5.9 Telecom sector liberalisation
5.9.1 Globacom's SNO licence
5.9.2 Regional fixed-wireless access (FWA) licences
5.9.3 International gateway licences
5.9.4 Unified licensing regime
5.10 Privatisation of Nitel
6. Fixed network operators
6.1 Nigerian Telecommunications (Nitel, defunct)
6.1.1 National backbone network
6.1.2 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
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
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 International terrestrial infrastructure
7.3.1 The Central African Backbone (CAB)
7.3.2 Nigeria Niger link
7.3.3 Trans-Saharan Backbone
7.3.4 NNPC network
7.4 International submarine infrastructure
7.4.1 SAT-3/WASC
7.4.2 Glo-1
7.4.3 Main One
7.4.4 WACS
7.4.5 ACE
7.4.6 WASACE
7.5 Satellite
7.5.1 Rascom
7.5.2 NigComSat
7.5.3 O3b Networks
7.6 Data centres
8. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics 2017 (e)
Table 2 Fixed-line network statistics 2017 (Mar)
Table 3 Internet provider statistics 2017
Table 4 Internet user statistics 2017 (e)
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2017
Table 6 National telecommunications authority
Table 7 Telecom sector contribution to GDP 2010 - 2017
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 - 2018
Table 11 VoIP lines by operator 2016 - 2017
Table 12 Fixed-wireless lines by operator 2014 - 2017
Table 13 International internet bandwidth in Nigeria 2001 - 2016
Chart 1 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2005 - 2018
Exhibit 1 Regional FWA licensees
Exhibit 2 Regional FWA licensees in Nigeria

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