Nigeria - Mobile Market - Insights and Statistics

Synopsis

Nigeria has Africa’s largest mobile market, with more than 140 million subscribers and a penetration above 100%. The rapid growth has led to problems with network congestion and quality of service, prompting the telecom regulator to impose fines and sanctions. Network operators invest billions of dollars in base stations and fibre optic transmission infrastructure to support the ever increasing demand for bandwidth.

Efforts are also being made to encourage infrastructure sharing and to outsource the management of towers to third parties. Much of the remaining addressable market is in rural areas where providing network infrastructure and operations is expensive. In combination with falling ARPU, this is forcing network operators to streamline and to develop new revenue streams from mobile broadband and data services such as m-payments and m-banking.

Although the market is one of the most competitive in Africa, the industry regulator is tightening price caps and mandating further reductions of interconnect rates. Following years of delays, Mobile Number Portability (MNP) was finally introduced in 2013, promising to make the market even more competitive. The terrorist group Boko Haram has created difficulties for network provision and maintenance in the northern states, a difficulty which neither the government nor operators are properly positioned to address.

Key developments:

Auction for spectrum in the 2.6GHz band postponed for a second time; additional 79 BTS installed under the USPF program; Airtel Nigeria sells 4,800 towers to AMC; Smile Communications extends LTE; government cracks down on substandard mobile devices; CDMA operators stop trading following financial difficulties; Etisalat sells its 2,136 tower infrastructure; tens of thousands of new base stations to be built; major network management contracts signed; mergers and acquisitions among smaller operators; regulator cracks down on poor quality of service; new price caps and lower interconnection rates; Mobile Number Portability introduced; report includes operator data to Q4 2014, regulator’s market data updates to January 2015, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

MTN Nigeria; Glo Mobile (Globacom); Bharti Airtel (formerly Zain, Celtel); Etisalat Nigeria (EMTS, Mubadala); M-Tel (Nitel); Visafone; Starcomms (Capcom); Multi-Links; Reliance; Intercellular; Megatech Engineering (Zoda Fones); Telkom SA; Econet Wireless; Vodacom.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Overview of Nigeria’s mobile market
    • 2.1 General statistics
    • 2.2 Mobile broadband/data
      • 2.2.1 SMS
      • 2.2.2 Premium-rate SMS, interactive TV (iTV)
      • 2.2.3 MMS
    • 2.3 Forecasts – mobile subscribers – 2015; 2018
      • 2.3.1 Notes on scenario forecasts
  • 3. Regulatory issues
    • 3.1 GSM licence terms
    • 3.2 Spectrum
      • 3.2.1 3.5GHz
      • 3.2.2 800MHz
      • 3.2.3 700MHz
      • 3.2.4 2.5GHz and 2.6GHz
      • 3.2.5 450MHz
      • 3.2.6 3.5GHz
      • 3.2.7 3G mobile spectrum
      • 3.2.8 LTE/WiMAX spectrum (2.3GHz)
    • 3.3 Interconnection
    • 3.4 Mobile tariffs
      • 3.4.1 Per-second billing
      • 3.4.2 SMS price caps
    • 3.5 Unified licensing regime
    • 3.6 Universal service
    • 3.7 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
    • 3.8 Central equipment identity register
    • 3.9 Quality of Service
    • 3.10 SIM card registration
    • 3.11 Equal access for mobile content providers
    • 3.12 Consumer protection against billing irregularities
  • 4. Mobile infrastructure
    • 4.1 International gateways
    • 4.2 National mobile infrastructure plan
    • 4.3 Tower infrastructure
    • 4.4 Analogue networks
    • 4.5 Digital networks
      • 4.5.1 3G/UMTS
      • 4.5.2 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
    • 4.6 Other infrastructure developments
      • 4.6.1 GPRS, EDGE
      • 4.6.2 WAP
      • 4.6.3 CDMA2000 1x
      • 4.6.4 VoLTE
      • 4.6.5 Satellite mobile
  • 5. Major GSM mobile operators
    • 5.1 MTN Nigeria
      • 5.1.1 Network infrastructure and coverage, capital expenditure (capex)
      • 5.1.2 National backbone network
      • 5.1.3 Services
    • 5.2 Bharti Airtel (formerly Zain/Celtel Nigeria)
      • 5.2.1 Network infrastructure and coverage
      • 5.2.2 National backbone network
      • 5.2.3 Services
    • 5.3 Globacom
      • 5.3.1 Network infrastructure and coverage
      • 5.3.2 Fibre optic backbone network
      • 5.3.3 Services
    • 5.4 Etisalat Nigeria (EMTS, Mubadala)
      • 5.4.1 ARPU
    • 5.5 M-Tel
  • 6. Major CDMA mobile operators
    • 6.1 Multi-Links Telkom
    • 6.2 Reliance Telecommunications Ltd (Reltel, Zoom)
    • 6.3 Starcomms (Capcom)
      • 6.3.1 Subscriber statistics
      • 6.3.2 Financial results 2007-2011
      • 6.3.3 Merger with Multi-Links and MTS First Wireless
    • 6.4 Intercellular Nigeria
    • 6.5 Visafone
      • 6.5.1 Cell Communications Ltd (Cellcom)
      • 6.5.2 Bourdex Telecommunications
  • 7. Mobile content and applications
    • 7.1 Mobile money transfer, m-banking
    • 7.2 M-health
    • 7.3 Mobile TV
  • 8. Mobile handsets
  • 9. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Nigeria – 1998 - 2004
  • Table 2 – Mobile subscribers (active) and penetration rate in Nigeria – 2005 - 2015
  • Table 3 – Mobile market share of subscribers by operator – 2011 - 2015
  • Table 4 – Mobile subscribers (GSM) by operator, technology – 2014
  • Table 5 – Mobile subscribers (CDMA) by operator, technology – 2014
  • Table 6 – Forecast mobile subscribers in Nigeria – 2015; 2018
  • Table 7 – GSM mobile internet subscribers by operator – 2014
  • Table 8 – Glo Mobile Nigeria 3G HSPA pricing – 2013
  • Table 9 – MTN Nigeria data plan pricing – 2015
  • Table 10 – Visafone Nigeria CDMA-2000 1x and EV-DO pricing – 2015
  • Table 11 – MTN mobile subscribers – 2011 - 2014
  • Table 12 – MTN Nigeria financial data – 2010 - 2014
  • Table 13 – MTN Nigeria ARPU – 2002 - 2014
  • Table 14 – Zain Nigeria ARPU – 2006 - 2009
  • Table 15 – Airtel mobile subscribers – 2011 - 2014
  • Table 16 – Globacom mobile subscribers – 2011 - 2014
  • Table 17 – Etisalat mobile subscribers – 2011 - 2014
  • Table 18 – Etisalat mobile revenue – 2013 - 2014
  • Table 19 – CDMA subscribers by operator – 2011 - 2014
  • Table 20 – Starcomms Nigeria total and mobility/mobile subscribers – 2005 – 2014
  • Table 21 – Visafone mobile subscribers – 2013 - 2014
  • Chart 1 – Mobile subscribers and penetration – 2005 - 2015
  • Exhibit 1 – Ownership battle – from EWN to Vee Networks to V-Mobile to Zain to Bharti Airtel

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