Nigeria - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses
Nigeria licenses two more InfraCos for wholesale broadband
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 mid-2018.
The competitive fixed-line market includes a second national operator (Globacom) and over 80 other licensed companies. The alternative carriers combined provide around 85% of all fixed connections, though in general terms about 80% of all connections are wireless.
Nigeria’s broadband sector has seen considerable consolidation among players, from over 400 ISPs in 2012 to fewer than 90 by early 2018. Most internet connections are via mobile networks, principally GSM and 3G and more recently LTE, though there are a number of WiMAX operators which have found niche markets. The government has continued with its plan to increase broadband penetration to 30% by 2018 and to increase mobile broadband penetration to 50% by 2020. To this end the regulator is looking to auction additional spectrum in the 700MHz and 2.3GHz bands.
The country has Africa’s largest mobile market, with about 142 million subscribers and a penetration rate of 101%. The number of subscribers fell in 2017 as consumers responded to a poor economic climate, adopted other OTT channels for voice and data services, and as regulatory measures continued to oblige operators to disconnect unregistered SIM cards.
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;
Regulator hopes for the telecoms sector to account for a greater share of GDP by 2025;
Government devising strategy to increase broadband penetration to 30% by end-2018, increase mobile broadband penetration to 50% by 2020;
Bidders shortlisted for acquisition of 9Mobile;
Regulator prepares to revise mobile interconnection rate;
MTN Nigeria extends licenses for spectrum in the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands to August 2021;
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, Nepskom Communications, MTS First Wireless, Suburban Telecom, Backbone Connectivity Network (BCN), Traffic Network Services, Fibre Tech West Africa, Phase3 Telecom, Gateway Telecoms Integrated Services, Mobitel Nigeria, Prestel (O-Mobile), Galaxy Backbone, 21st Century Technologies, Main One (Mainstreet Technologies), NigComSat, O3b Networks, WASACE, Linkserve, Pinet Informatics, Odu’a Telecom, Swift Networks, Startech Connection, Netcom Africa, MWEB Nigeria, Starcomms, Layer3, Communication Trends Nigeria, Entertainment Highway (HiTV), MTN Nigeria, Bharti Airtel (formerly Zain, Celtel), 9Mobile (Etisalat Nigeria, EMTS, Mubadala), Econet Wireless, Vodacom.