Nigeria - Mobile Infrastructure, Operators and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Synopsis

Nigeria has Africa’s largest mobile market, with about 173 million subscribers and a penetration rate of 123%. The number of subscribers fell in 2017 as consumers responded to a poor economic climate and as regulatory measures continued to oblige operators to disconnect unregistered SIM cards, though growth in 2018 was strong. The initial rapid growth in the number of subscribers had led to problems with network congestion and quality of service, prompting the regulator to impose fines and sanctions on network operators. These operators have responded by investing billions of dollars in base stations and fibre transmission infrastructure to support the increasing demand for data. The migration from the CDMA platform to GSM technology is almost complete, and though GSM still dominates the market there is a growing shift to services based on LTE. Although LTE coverage remains relatively low, investment among operators is extending the reach of services and is helping to develop consumer use of mobile data services.

Efforts are also being made to encourage network sharing and to outsource the management of tower infrastructure to third parties. There remains considerable growth potential in rural areas where the provision of network infrastructure and operations is expensive, and consequently where mobile penetration is lower. The government’s plan to increase broadband penetration to 70% by 2021 largely depends on mobile infrastructure.

Key developments:

  • Office of the National Security Adviser establishes committees to deal with counterfeit mobile devices;
  • Four MNOs fined NGN 74 million for various infractions;
  • MTN and Airtel apply for Payment Service Bank licence;
  • Government commits to increasing mobile broadband penetration to 70% by 2021;
  • Disagreements emerge among new shareholders of 9Mobile;
  • Regulator calls for an additional 80,000 mobile base stations;
  • MTN Nigeria awarded spectrum in the 2.6GHz band for LTE use, extends licenses for spectrum in the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands to August 2021;
  • New MTRs assigned;
  • Additional base stations installed under the USPF program;
  • Report update includes operator data to Q3 2018, regulator’s market data updates to December 2018, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

MTN Nigeria, Glo Mobile (Globacom), Bharti Airtel (formerly Zain, Celtel), 9Mobile (Etisalat Nigeria, EMTS, Mubadala), M-Tel (Nitel), Visafone, Starcomms (Capcom), Multi-Links, Reliance, InterC Network (Intercellular), Megatech Engineering (Zoda Fones), Telkom, Econet Wireless, Vodacom.

Table of Contents

  • Market analysis

  • Mobile statistics

    • General statistics
    • Mobile voice
      • VoLTE
    • Mobile data
      • SMS
      • MMS
    • Mobile broadband
    • Forecasts – mobile subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
  • Regulatory issues

    • GSM licence terms
    • Spectrum
      • 3.5GHz
      • 800MHz
      • 700MHz
      • 2.3GHz
      • 2.5GHz and 2.6GHz
      • 450MHz
      • 3.5GHz
      • 5.4GHz
      • 2GHz
    • Mobile Termnation Rate (MTR)
    • Mobile tariffs
    • Unified licensing regime
    • Universal service
    • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
    • Quality of Service
    • SIM card registration
  • Mobile infrastructure

    • International gateways
    • National mobile infrastructure plan
    • Tower infrastructure
    • Analogue networks
    • Digital networks
      • 5G
      • 4G (LTE)
      • 3G/UMTS
      • 2G
    • Other infrastructure developments
      • Satellite mobile
  • Major GSM mobile operators

    • MTN Nigeria
      • Backbone network
    • Bharti Airtel (formerly Zain/Celtel Nigeria)
      • Backbone network
    • Globacom
      • Backbone network
    • 9Mobile (Etisalat Nigeria, EMTS, Mubadala)
    • M-Tel
  • Major CDMA mobile operators

    • Multi-Links Telkom
    • Reliance Telecommunications (Reltel, Zoom)
    • Starcomms (Capcom)
      • Merger with Multi-Links and MTS First Wireless
    • InterC Network (Intercellular Nigeria)
    • Visafone
      • Cell Communications (Cellcom)
      • Bourdex Telecommunications
  • Mobile content and applications

    • Mobile money transfer, m-banking
    • M-health
  • Related reports


List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1998 – 2009
  • Table 2 – Mobile subscribers (active) and penetration rate – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 3 – Mobile market share of subscribers by operator (GSM) – 2011 – 2018
  • Table 4 – Prepaid mobile subscribers – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 5 – SMS traffic – 2006 – 2018
  • Table 6 – Mobile internet subscribers in Nigeria by operator (GSM) – 2012 – 2018
  • Table 7 – Active mobile broadband subscribers – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 8 – Forecast mobile subscribers in Nigeria – 2019; 2021; 2023
  • Table 9 – Annual outgoing mobile number portings – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 10 – GSM subscribers in Nigeria – 2014 - 2018
  • Table 11 – MTN mobile subscribers – 2011 – 2018
  • Table 12 – MTN Nigeria financial data – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 13 – MTN Nigeria revenue by type – 2015 – 2018
  • Table 14 – MTN Nigeria ARPU – 2002 – 2018
  • Table 15 – Airtel mobile subscribers – 2011 – 2018
  • Table 16 – Globacom mobile subscribers – 2011 – 2018
  • Table 17 – Etisalat mobile subscribers – 2011 – 2018
  • Table 18 – 9Mobile mobile revenue and capex – 2013 – 2017
  • Table 19 – CDMA subscribers by operator – 2011 – 2017
  • Table 20 – Historic - Starcomms mobile subscribers – 2005 – 2014
  • Table 21 – Visafone mobile subscribers – 2009; 2013 – 2017

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Mobile subscribers and penetration – 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 3 – Mobile internet subscribers in Nigeria by operator (GSM) – 2012 – 2018
  • Chart 4 – GSM subscribers in Nigeria – 2014 – 2018
  • Chart 5 – MTN Nigeria financial data – 2010 – 2018

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