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

Synopsis

Nigeria has Africa’s largest mobile market, with about 150 million subscribers and a penetration rate of 107%. The rapid growth in the number of subscribers led to problems with network congestion and quality of service, prompting the telecom regulator to impose fines and sanctions on the network operators. These operators have responded by investing 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 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. Competition of voice pricing has encouraged operators to develop new revenue streams from mobile broadband and data services, including m-payments and m-banking.

Although the market is one of the most competitive in Africa, the industry regulator between 2013 and early 2016 applied a price floor on voice and data tariffs in a bid to prevent the dominant operators from squeezing competitors. Following years of delay, Mobile Number Portability (MNP) was finally introduced in 2013, and this has stimulated market competitiveness. 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:

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; government prepares legislation to enforce 9% tax on electronic communications services; Visafone acquired by MTN Nigeria, trials LTE in the 800MHz band; NATCOM Consortium preps for LTE launch; additional base stations installed under the USPF program; Airtel Nigeria and Etisalat sell tower infrastructure; Smile Communications extends LTE; government cracks down on substandard mobile devices; report update includes operator data to Q2 2016, regulator’s market data updates to June 2016, 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, Econet Wireless, Vodacom.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Market analysis
  • 3. Mobile statistics
    • 3.1 General statistics
    • 3.2 Mobile voice
      • 3.2.1 VoLTE
    • 3.3 Mobile data
      • 3.3.1 SMS
      • 3.3.2 Premium-rate SMS, interactive TV (iTV)
      • 3.3.3 MMS
    • 3.4 Mobile broadband
    • 3.5 Forecasts – mobile subscribers – 2016; 2018; 2021
      • 3.5.1 Notes on scenario forecasts
  • 4. Regulatory issues
    • 4.1 GSM licence terms
    • 4.2 Spectrum
      • 4.2.1 3.5GHz
      • 4.2.2 800MHz
      • 4.2.3 700MHz
      • 4.2.4 2.3GHz
      • 4.2.5 2.5GHz and 2.6GHz
      • 4.2.6 450MHz
      • 4.2.7 3.5GHz
      • 4.2.8 3G mobile spectrum
    • 4.3 Interconnection
    • 4.4 Mobile tariffs
      • 4.4.1 Per-second billing
      • 4.4.2 SMS price caps
    • 4.5 Unified licensing regime
    • 4.6 Universal service
    • 4.7 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
    • 4.8 Central equipment identity register
    • 4.9 Quality of Service
    • 4.10 SIM card registration
  • 5. Mobile infrastructure
    • 5.1 International gateways
    • 5.2 National mobile infrastructure plan
    • 5.3 Tower infrastructure
    • 5.4 Analogue networks
    • 5.5 Digital networks
      • 5.5.1 GSM
      • 5.5.2 3G/UMTS
      • 5.5.3 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
    • 5.6 Other infrastructure developments
      • 5.6.1 GPRS, EDGE
      • 5.6.2 WAP
      • 5.6.3 CDMA2000 1x
      • 5.6.4 Satellite mobile
  • 6. Major GSM mobile operators
    • 6.1 MTN Nigeria
      • 6.1.1 Network infrastructure
      • 6.1.2 National backbone network
    • 6.2 Bharti Airtel (formerly Zain/Celtel Nigeria)
      • 6.2.1 Network infrastructure and coverage
      • 6.2.2 National backbone network
    • 6.3 Globacom
      • 6.3.1 Network infrastructure and coverage
      • 6.3.2 Fibre optic backbone network
    • 6.4 Etisalat Nigeria (EMTS, Mubadala)
    • 6.5 M-Tel
  • 7. Major CDMA mobile operators
    • 7.1 Multi-Links Telkom
    • 7.2 Reliance Telecommunications (Reltel, Zoom)
    • 7.3 Starcomms (Capcom)
      • 7.3.1 Merger with Multi-Links and MTS First Wireless
    • 7.4 Intercellular Nigeria
    • 7.5 Visafone
      • 7.5.1 Cell Communications (Cellcom)
      • 7.5.2 Bourdex Telecommunications
  • 8. Mobile content and applications
    • 8.1 Mobile money transfer, m-banking
    • 8.2 M-health
    • 8.3 Mobile TV
  • 9. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1998 - 2009
  • Table 2 – Mobile subscribers (active) and penetration rate – 2010 - 2017
  • Table 3 – Mobile market share of subscribers by operator – 2011 - 2016
  • Table 4 – Prepaid mobile subscribers – 2010 - 2016
  • Table 5 – Mobile subscribers (GSM) by operator, technology – June 2016
  • Table 6 – Mobile subscribers (CDMA) by operator, technology – June 2016
  • Table 7 – Installed mobile base stations by GSM operator – 2013 - 2014
  • Table 8 – Installed mobile base stations by CDMA operator – 2013 - 2014
  • Table 9 – SMS traffic – 2006 - 2016
  • Table 10 – Mobile internet subscribers in Nigeria by operator (GSM) – 2012 - 2016
  • Table 11 – Active mobile broadband subscribers – 2010 - 2016
  • Table 12 – Forecast mobile subscribers in Nigeria – 2016; 2018; 2021
  • Table 13 – Outgoing mobile number portings – 2013 - 2016
  • Table 14 – GSM subscribers in Nigeria – 2014 - 2016
  • Table 15 – MTN Nigeria data plan pricing – 2016
  • Table 16 – Active CDMA subscribers – 2014 - 2016
  • Table 17 – MTN mobile subscribers – 2011 - 2016
  • Table 18 – MTN Nigeria financial data – 2010 - 2016
  • Table 19 – MTN Nigeria ARPU – 2002 - 2016
  • Table 20 – Airtel mobile subscribers – 2011 - 2016
  • Table 21 – Globacom mobile subscribers – 2011 - 2016
  • Table 22 – Etisalat mobile subscribers – 2011 - 2016
  • Table 23 – Etisalat mobile revenue and capex – 2013 - 2016
  • Table 24 – CDMA subscribers by operator – 2011 - 2016
  • Table 25 – Starcomms mobile subscribers – 2005 – 2014
  • Table 26 – Visafone mobile subscribers – 2009; 2013 - 2016
  • Chart 1 – Mobile subscribers and penetration – 2005 – 2017
  • Exhibit 1 – Ownership battle – from EWN to Vee Networks to V-Mobile to Zain to Bharti Airtel

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