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Nigeria - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts


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

This annual report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Nigeria’s telecommunications market. Subjects covered include:

  • Key statistics;
  • Market and industry overviews;
  • Regulatory environment and structural reform;
  • Major players (fixed, mobile and broadband);
  • Infrastructure development;
  • Mobile voice and data markets, including 3G;
  • ARPU trends;
  • Internet development;
  • Broadband, including 3G mobile
  • Convergence (voice/data, fixed/wireless/mobile).


Nigeria has overtaken South Africa to become the continent’s largest mobile market with over 65 million subscribers, and yet market penetration stood at only around 45% in mid-2009. Far reaching regulatory reform has led to hundreds of companies providing virtually all kinds of telecom and value-added services in an independently regulated market. Billions of US$ are being invested into network infrastructure each year.

  Competition has increased under a new unified licensing regime, and declining average revenue per user levels are forcing the operators to streamline their businesses, introduce new services and transform themselves into converged broadband service providers in order to maintain market share.

  Significant consolidation has already occurred in Nigeria’s Internet and broadband sector, from over 400 ISPs two years ago to around 150. Powerful new players from the fixed-wireless and mobile network operator camps have entered the market with third generation mobile and advanced wireless broadband services such as WiMAX. Mergers and acquisitions, which have attracted record prices in recent years, are expected to continue.  

The arrival of two new international submarine fibre optic cables in 2009 will break the current monopoly in this sub-sector and revolutionise the market by reducing the cost of bandwidth by up to 90%. Several national fibre backbone networks are being rolled out to transport this bandwidth to the end-users. However, due to the vast expanse of the country and decades of neglect of infrastructure prior to market liberalisation, satellite-based services will continue to play an important role in Nigeria’s telecoms sector.  

After failing three times in the past, privatisation of the incumbent national telco Nitel is scheduled to be finally completed in 2009. The government is looking for a new strategic investor and new business models to turn the ailing company around.

  Key highlights:

  •          Forecasts for fixed-line, mobile and Internet markets to 2010 and 2015;
  •          CDMA-based 3G networks are outpacing their GSM rivals with triple digit growth rates;
  •          Profiles of major players, including financial results;
  •          ARPU is expected to continue falling before turning around on the back of broadband services;
  •          Competition in international fibre bandwidth set to arrive in 2009 will revolutionise the market;
  •          IP-based next-generation networks are enabling converged voice, data and video services;
  •          Sub-Saharan Africa’s first Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) network rollout;
  •          Privatisation of Nitel scheduled for 2009 after three unsuccessful attempts in the past.
  Nigeria blended monthly mobile ARPU - 2006 - 2008
Year | ARPU (US$) |
2006 | 16.65 |
2007 | 14.10 |
2008 | 12.35 |

(Source: BuddeComm based on company data)

 

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

  The following notes provide some background to our scenario forecasting methodology:
  •          This report includes what we term scenario forecasts. By describing long-range scenarios we identify a band within which we expect market growth to occur. The associated text describes what we see as the most likely growth trend within this band.
  •          The projections shown in the tables in this report are based on our own historical information, as well as on telecommunication sector statistics from official and non-official, national and international sources. We assume a possible deviation of 15-20% around this data.
  •          All statistics for GDP, revenue, etc, are shown in US$, in order to maintain consistency within and between markets. At the same time we acknowledge that this can introduce some irregularities.
  •  
For those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecommunications sector in Nigeria, this report is essential reading and gives further information on:
  •          The largest mobile market and the most competitive fixed-line market in the region;
  •          Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
  •          Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
  •          Telecoms operators - privatisation, acquisitions, financial results, new licences;
  •          Internet and broadband development and growth;
  •          3G mobile broadband rollouts and pricing;
  •          Average Revenue per User (ARPU);
  •          Mobile application and content developments.

1. Key Statistics
2. Telecommunications Market
2.1 Overview of Nigeria’s telecom market
2.1.1 Telecom investments
3. Regulatory Environment
3.1 Nigerian Communications Commission Decree (NCCD) 1992
3.2 National Telecommunications Policy (NTP) 1999, 2000
3.3 Nigerian Communications Act 2003
3.4 West African common regulatory framework 2005
3.5 Class Licence Policy extension 2007
3.6 Regulatory authority
3.6.1 Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)
3.7 Key regulatory issues
3.7.1 Interconnect
3.7.2 Consumer protection, quality of service
3.7.3 Infrastructure sharing
3.7.4 No regulation on state level
3.7.5 National Information Technology Development (NITD) Fund
3.7.6 National emergency numbers
3.8 Telecom sector liberalisation
3.8.1 Globacom’s SNO licence
3.8.2 Regional fixed wireless access (FWA) licences
3.8.3 International gateway licences
3.8.4 New unified licensing regime 2006
3.9 Privatisation of Nitel
3.9.1 Nitel’s IPO
3.9.2 Spectrum auctions
4. Fixed Network Market
4.1 Fixed-line market and infrastructure overview
4.1.1 Market analysis - 2009
4.1.2 Fixed-line statistics
4.2 Fixed network operators in Nigeria
4.2.1 Nigerian Telecommunications Ltd (Nitel)
4.2.2 Globacom Ltd
4.2.3 VGC Communications
4.2.4 National Long-Distance Operators (LDOs)
4.3 Private fixed-wireless operators
4.3.1 MTS First Wireless
4.3.2 Mobitel Nigeria Ltd
4.3.3 Prestel
4.3.4 Regional fixed wireless operator
5. Telecommunications Infrastructure
5.1 National Rural Telephony Program (NRTP)
5.2 National backbone infrastructure
5.2.1 National Information Infrastructure Backbone (NIIB)
5.2.2 Galaxy Backbone Plc
5.2.3 Suburban Telecom Ltd
5.2.4 Phase3 Telecom
5.2.5 Backbone Connectivity Network (BCN)
5.2.6 Mobile operators’ national backbone networks
5.2.7 Private networks
5.3 Fibre to the Home (FttH)
5.4 International infrastructure
5.4.1 Submarine cable networks
5.4.2 Satellite networks
6. Internet Market
6.1 Market analysis - 2009
6.1.1 Internet statistics
6.2 Public Internet access locations
6.2.1 Internet cafes
6.2.2 Mobile Internet Units (MIUs)
6.2.3 NIPOST email services
6.2.4 Nigeria Internet Project (NIP)
6.3 Limited availability of PCs
6.4 Internet Exchange Points (IXP)
6.5 Country code top level domain (ccTLD) administration
6.6 ISP market
6.6.1 Internet Service Providers Association of Nigeria (ISPAN)
6.6.2 Overview of selected ISPs
6.7 E-services
6.7.1 E-commerce, E-payment
6.7.2 E-government
6.7.3 E-health
6.7.4 Electronic Crimes Bill
7. Broadband Market
7.1 Overview
7.2 Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
7.3 Wireless broadband
7.3.1 Odu’a Telecom
7.3.2 Swift Networks
7.3.3 Startech Connection
7.3.4 Cyberspace Network
7.3.5 Nitel
7.3.6 Netcom Africa
7.3.7 MWEB Nigeria
7.3.8 Gateway Communications
7.4 WiFi
7.4.1 Accelon, Internet Solutions
7.4.2 Jigawa Broadband Access Network
7.4.3 Polestar/5G WiFi network in Lagos
7.4.4 NaijaWiFi
7.4.5 Abuja WiFi, WiMAX
7.4.6 Enugu
7.5 WiMAX
7.6 Mobile broadband
7.7 Internet via satellite
7.7.1 Direct-on-PC
7.7.2 BroadbandDirect
7.7.3 IP Direct
7.7.4 MWEB Nigeria
7.7.5 iDirect
7.7.6 African Trumpet Telecommunications
7.8 Broadband over Powerlines (BPL)
8. Convergence
8.1 Next Generation Networks (NGN), triple play
8.2 VoIP telephony
8.2.1 Nitel
8.2.2 Globacom
8.2.3 Starcomms
8.2.4 Adesemi Nigeria
8.2.5 MWEB Nigeria
8.2.6 Accelon
8.2.7 Linkserve
8.2.8 Layer3
8.2.9 Swift Networks
8.3 Cable TV
8.4 Internet TV
9. Mobile Communications
9.1 Overview of Nigeria’s mobile market
9.1.1 Market analysis - 2009
9.1.2 Mobile statistics
9.2 Regulatory issues
9.2.1 GSM licence terms
9.2.2 Interconnect
9.2.3 International gateways
9.2.4 Mobile tariffs
9.2.5 Per-second billing (PSB)
9.2.6 Unified licensing regime brings new competition
9.2.7 Universal service
9.2.8 Mobile number portability (MNP)
9.2.9 Central equipment identity register (CEIR)
9.2.10 Poor quality of service
9.2.11 Registration of subscriber details
9.2.12 Foreign ownership
9.3 Major mobile operators
9.3.1 MTN Nigeria
9.3.2 Zain/Celtel Nigeria (formerly V-Mobile and Econet Wireless)
9.3.3 M-Tel
9.3.4 Globacom
9.3.5 Unified service licensees
9.4 Mobile data services
9.4.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
9.4.2 Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
9.4.3 GPRS, EDGE
9.4.4 Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)
9.4.5 CDMA2000 1x
9.4.6 BlackBerry
9.4.7 M-banking, m-payment
9.4.8 Mobile TV
9.4.9 Interactive TV (iTV)
9.5 Third generation (3G)
9.5.1 Licensing
9.5.2 Globacom
9.5.3 Zain
9.5.4 MTN
9.5.5 CDMA EV-DO
9.6 Satellite mobile
10. Forecasts
10.1 Forecasts - fixed-line market to 2015
10.2 Forecasts - Internet market to 2015
10.3 Forecasts - mobile services to 2015
10.3.1 Forecast mobile subscribers
10.3.2 Forecast mobile ARPU
11. Glossary of Abbreviations
List of Tables and Exhibits
Table 1 - Country statistics Nigeria - 2009
Table 2 - Telephone network statistics - April 2009
Table 3 - Internet provider statistics - June 2009
Table 4 - Internet subscriber and user statistics - 2008
Table 5 - Mobile statistics - April 2009
Table 6 - National telecommunications authority
Table 7 - Fixed lines in service, Nitel vs PTOs and teledensity - 1995; 1997; 1999 - 2009
Table 8 - Fixed and fixed-wireless lines by operator and market share - March 2009
Table 9 - Internet users and penetration rate - 1996; 1998; 2000 - 2008
Table 10 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1998 - 2009
Table 11 - Mobile subscribers by operator and annual change - March 2009
Table 12 - MTN Nigeria monthly ARPU - 2002 - 2009
Table 13 - Celtel Nigeria monthly ARPU - 2006 - 2009
Table 14 - Starcomms total and mobility/mobile subscribers - 2005 - 2009
Table 15 - Forecast fixed-line and fixed-wireless subscribers - 2010; 2015
Table 16 - Forecast Internet users - 2010; 2015
Table 17 - Forecast mobile subscribers - 2010; 2015
Table 18 - Nigeria blended monthly mobile ARPU - 2006 - 2008
Table 19 - Forecast blended monthly mobile ARPU - 2010; 2015
Exhibit 1 - Regional FWA licensees in Nigeria
Exhibit 2 - Ownership battle - from EWN to Vee Networks to V-Mobile to Celtel

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