2010 Nigeria - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts

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Last updated: 4 May 2010 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 110

Analyst: Peter Lange

Publication Overview

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;
  • Average Revenue per User (ARPU) trends;
  • Internet development;
  • Broadband, including 3G mobile;
  • Convergence (voice/data, fixed/wireless/mobile).

Researcher:- Peter Lange
Current publication date:- May 2010 (9th Edition)
Next publication date:- February 2011

Executive Summary

Nigeria is one of the biggest and fastest growing telecom markets in Africa, attracting huge amounts of foreign investment, and is yet standing at relatively low levels of market penetration. Far reaching liberalisation has led to hundreds of companies providing virtually all kinds of telecom and value-added services in an independently regulated market. After failing three times in the past, the privatisation of Nitel, the incumbent national telco, is scheduled to be finally completed in 2010.

The West African country has overtaken South Africa to become the continent’s largest mobile market with now over 75 million subscribers, and yet market penetration stands at only around 50% in early 2010. However, subscriber growth slowed significantly during 2009, partly as a result of the global economic crisis. Much of the remaining addressable market is in the country’s rural areas where network rollouts and operations are expensive. This in combination with declining ARPU levels is forcing the networks to streamline their operations and to develop new revenue streams from services such as 3G mobile broadband, mobile payments/banking, and others. At the same time the operators are rolling out national fibre backbone networks to support the ever increasing demand for bandwidth.

Nigeria is also the most competitive fixed-line market in Africa, featuring a second national operator (SNO, Globacom) and over 80 other companies licensed to provide fixed telephony services. The alternative carriers combined now provide over 95% of all fixed connections, the majority of which has been implemented using wireless technologies. This gives the network operators the opportunity to also enter the lucrative mobile market under a new unified licensing regime and has helped them to secure hundreds of millions of US$ in investments from local and foreign investors.

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. Additional submarine cables are scheduled to go online in 2010 and 2011. This is set to revolutionise the country’s underdeveloped Internet and broadband sector by reducing the cost of international bandwidth by up to 90%. New powerful players from the fixed-wireless and mobile network operator camps have entered this market with 3G mobile and advanced wireless broadband services such as WiMAX. The IP-based next generation networks currently being rolled out are enabling converged voice, data/Internet and video services. VoIP is already carrying the bulk of Nigeria’s international voice traffic. Applications such as e-commerce, online banking and e-payments, e-health, e-learning and e-government are rapidly evolving.

This annual report contains a market overview and analysis, key statistics, regulatory issues, profiles of major players (MTN, Globacom, Zain, Visafone, EMTS, Nitel/M-Tel, Multi-Links, Starcomms, Reliance, M-Tel, Intercellular, among others) including financial results where available, and two scenario forecasts for the mobile market in 2012 and 2015.


Market highlights:

  • Forecasts for mobile markets to 2012 and 2015;
  • Market analysis 2010;
  • Profiles of major players, including financial results;
  • New competition in international fibre bandwidth is set to revolutionise the market;
  • Estimates for end 2010 and 2011 for mobile and Internet market.

Estimated market penetration rates in Nigeria’s telecoms sector – end 2010


Penetration rate





(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)

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.

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