Nigeria - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Nigeria - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - 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. The economy's recovery from a recent recession, helped the telecom sector attract foreign investment, particularly from China, while government infrastructure programs also stimulate investment.

The regulator has licensed a number of regional infrastructure companies (InfraCos) to build the national broadband network and offer capacity to all service providers on a non-discriminatory, open-access and price-regulated basis. This is helping to boost the country's fixed-line broadband sector, which has seen considerable consolidation among players in recent years. The government has updated its broadband ambitions, aiming to increase penetration from 30% by 2020 to 70% by the end of 2021 though most connections will be via mobile networks. The sector is still dominated by GSM technology, though a greater reliance on LTE infrastructure is expected in coming years, supported by improved terrestrial fibre networks to provide backhaul for data services. In early 2020 the regulator called on industry players to contribute towards its policy framework for 5G.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.

Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.

The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key developments:

Government approves $328 million loan to complete national backbone project;
Regulator begins developing 5G deployment policy based on the results of 5G trials;
Second stage of the NIPTI project is started, focussed on delivering fibre to northern areas of the country;
Government pledges to deploy 18,000km of fibre to extend broadband to rural areas;
Two additional satellites proposed to provide additional capacity to NigComSat;
National Broadband Plan 2020-2025 aiming to deliver 70% broadband penetration;
Report update includes the regulator's market data to June 2020, operator data to Q2 2020, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of COVID-19 on the telecoms sector, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Nigerian Telecommunications (ntel, Nitel, Pentascope, Transcorp, M-Tel), Globacom (Glo Mobile), VGC Communications (MTN Nigeria), Nepskom Communications, MTS First Wireless, Suburban Telecom, Backbone Connectivity Network (BCN), Traffic Network Services, Fibre Tech West Africa, Phase3 Telecom, Alheri Engineering, Mobitel Nigeria, Prestel (O-Mobile), Galaxy Backbone, 21st Century Technologies, Main One (Mainstreet Technologies), Brymedia, NigComSat, O3b Networks, WASACE, Linkserve, Pinet Informatics, Odu'a Telecom, Swift Networks, Startech Connection, Netcom Africa, MWEB Nigeria, Accelon (Internet Solutions), Polestar, Naija Wi-Fi, Suburban Telecom, Zinox, Starcomms, Layer3, Airtel Nigeria (formerly Zain, Celtel), 9Mobile (Etisalat Nigeria, EMTS, Mubadala), Visafone, Starcomms (Capcom), Multi-Links, Reliance, Econet Wireless, Vodacom.


  • Executive Summary
  • Key Statistics
    • Table Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities – Nigeria – 2020 (e)
  • Regional Africa Market Comparison
    • TMI VS GDP
    • MOBILE AND MOBILE BROADBAND
    • FIXED AND MOBILE BROADBAND
  • Country overview
  • COVID-19 and its impact on the telecom sector
    • ECONOMIC CONSIDERATIONS AND RESPONSES
    • MOBILE DEVICES
    • SUBSCRIBERS
    • INFRASTRUCTURE
  • Telecommunications market
    • HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
      • Table Change in telecom sector contribution to GDP – 2010 – 2020
  • Regulatory environment
    • REGULATORY AUTHORITY
    • NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS POLICY (NTP)
    • NIGERIAN COMMUNICATIONS ACT
    • WEST AFRICAN COMMON REGULATORY FRAMEWORK
    • INTERCONNECTION
    • INFRASTRUCTURE SHARING
    • TELECOM TAXES
    • UNIVERSAL SERVICE
      • National Rural Telephony Program (NRTP)
      • National Information Technology Development (NITD) Fund
      • Backbone Transmission Infrastructure Project (BTRAIN)
    • TELECOM SECTOR LIBERALISATION
      • Globacom's SNO licence
      • Regional fixed-wireless access (FWA) licences
      • International gateway licences
      • Unified licensing regime
    • PRIVATISATION OF NITEL
      • Table Financial bids for Nitel/M-Tel, first and second round – 2010
  • Mobile market
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
    • MOBILE STATISTICS
      • General statistics
        • Table Growth in the number of active mobile subscribers and penetration – 2010 – 2025
        • Table Change in the market share of subscribers by operator (GSM) –2011 – 2020
        • Table Change in the number of prepaid mobile subscribers – 2009 – 2019
      • Mobile voice
      • Mobile data
        • Table Growth in SMS traffic – 2010 – 2020
      • Mobile broadband
        • Table Mobile internet subscribers in Nigeria by operator (GSM) –2012 – 2020
        • Table Growth in the number of active mobile broadband subscribers – 2010 – 2025
    • REGULATORY ISSUES
      • GSM licence terms
      • Spectrum
      • Mobile Termination Rate (MTR)
      • Mobile tariffs
      • Unified licensing regime
      • Universal service
      • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
        • Table Change in the number of outgoing mobile number portings – 2013 – 2020
      • Quality of Service
      • SIM card registration
    • MOBILE INFRASTRUCTURE
      • International gateways
      • National mobile infrastructure plan
      • Tower infrastructure
      • Analogue networks
      • Digital networks
        • Table Change in the number of GSM subscribers – 2014 – 2020
      • Other infrastructure developments
    • MAJOR GSM MOBILE OPERATORS
      • MTN Nigeria
        • Table Change in the number of MTN Nigeria's mobile subscriber base – 2011 – 2020
        • Table Change in MTN Nigeria's financial data – 2010 – 2020
        • Table Development of MTN Nigeria revenue by type – 2015 – 2020
        • Table Development of MTN Nigeria's financial data (NGN) –2017 – 2020
        • Table Decline in MTN Nigeria's mobile ARPU – 2009 – 2020
        • Table Change in MTN Nigeria's capex – 2015 – 2020
        • Table Change in MTN Nigeria's customer voice and data traffic – 2015 – 2020
      • Airtel Nigeria
        • Table Growth in the number of Airtel Nigeria's mobile subscribers – 2011 – 2020
        • Table Growth in the number of Airtel Nigeria's base stations – 2018 – 2020
        • Table Development of Airtel Nigeria's financial data – 2018 – 2020
        • Table Change in Airtel Nigeria's quarterly churn – 2018 – 2020
      • Globacom
        • Table Growth in the number of Globacom's mobile and mobile internet subscriber base – 2011 – 2020
        • Table Development of Globacom's financial data – 2017 – 2018
      • 9Mobile (Etisalat Nigeria, EMTS, Mubadala)
        • Table Change in the number of 9mobile's mobile subscribers – 2011 – 2020
        • Table Development of 9mobile's financial data – 2017 – 2018
      • M-Tel
    • MAJOR CDMA MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Multi-Links Telkom
      • Reliance Telecommunications (Reltel, Zoom)
      • Starcomms (Capcom)
      • InterC Network (Intercellular Nigeria)
      • Visafone
        • Table Decline in the number of Visafone's mobile subscribers – 2013 – 2020
    • MOBILE CONTENT AND APPLICATIONS
      • Mobile money transfer, m-banking
        • Table Change in the number of m-payment transactions and value – 2010 – 2019
        • Table Increase in the number of m-money inter-scheme transactions and value – 2017 – 2020
        • Table Growth in the number of MTN's M-money subscribers– 2018 – 2020
      • M-health
  • Fixed-line broadband market
    • INTRODUCTION AND STATISTICAL OVERVIEW
      • Market analysis
      • Internet Exchange Points (IXP)
      • National Broadband Plan
      • Broadband statistics
        • Table Fixed-line (wired) broadband subscribers – 2014 – 2025
        • Table Fixed-line (wired) broadband subscribers by operator – 2014 – 2020
        • Table Change in the number of fixed-wired broadband subscribers by operator – 2017 – 2020
    • DIGITAL SUBSCRIBER LINE (DSL) NETWORKS
      • Providers
    • FIBRE-TO-THE-PREMISES (FTTP) NETWORKS
    • OTHER FIXED BROADBAND SERVICES
      • Broadband over Powerlines (BPL)
      • Fixed wireless
  • Fixed network operators
    • NIGERIAN TELECOMMUNICATIONS (NITEL)
      • National backbone network
      • Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
    • GLOBACOM
      • Network infrastructure
      • Fibre optic backbone network
      • International presence
      • Services
      • International expansion
    • VGC COMMUNICATIONS
    • NATIONAL LONG-DISTANCE OPERATORS (NLDO)
    • FIXED-WIRELESS NETWORK OPERATORS
      • MTS First Wireless
      • Mobitel Nigeria
      • Prestel (O-Mobile)
      • Regional FWA operators
  • Telecommunications infrastructure
    • OVERVIEW OF THE NATIONAL TELECOM NETWORK
      • Table Evolution of fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2010 – 2025
      • Table Growth in the number of VoIP lines by operator – 2016 – 2020
    • BACKBONE NETWORKS
      • National Information Infrastructure Backbone (NIIB)
      • NIPTI
      • Suburban Telecom
      • Phase3 Telecom
      • Backbone Connectivity Network (BCN)
      • Private networks
    • INTERNATIONAL TERRESTRIAL INFRASTRUCTURE
      • The Central African Backbone (CAB)
      • Nigeria – Niger link
      • Trans-Saharan Backbone
      • NNPC network
    • INTERNATIONAL SUBMARINE INFRASTRUCTURE
      • SAT-3/WASC
      • Glo-1
      • Main One
      • WACS
      • ACE
      • WASACE
        • Table Increase in international internet bandwidth in Nigeria – 2010 – 2018
      • 2Africa submarine cable
    • SATELLITE
      • Rascom
      • NigComSat
      • O3b Networks
    • DATA CENTRES
  • Historic data
    • Table Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1999 – 2009
    • Table Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1998 – 2009
    • Table Historic - MTN Nigeria ARPU – 2002 – 2009
    • Table Historic - Internet users and penetration rate in Nigeria – 2000 – 2015
    • Table Historic - SMS traffic – 2006 – 2009
    • Table Historic - International internet bandwidth – 2001 – 2009
    • Table Historic - CDMA subscribers by operator – 2011 – 2019
  • Glossary of abbreviations
  • Related reports

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