Nigeria - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Nigeria’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the mobile, internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media sectors. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure developments;
  • Major players, revenue, subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
  • Internet, VoIP, videostreaming;
  • Mobile voice and data markets;
  • Broadband (FttP, DSL, cable, wireless);
  • Convergence and Digital Media;
  • Mobile subscriber forecasts;
  • Mobile market forecasts for selective years to 2022.
  • Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
  • Market liberalisation and industry issues;
  • Telecoms operators – privatisation, IPOs, acquisitions, new licences;
  • Mobile technologies (GSM; 3G, HSPA, LTE).

Researcher:- Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- July 2017 (16th Edition)

Executive Summary

Nigeria’s broadband sector to benefit from five more InfraCo licences

Nigeria has one of the largest telecom markets in Africa, supported by the second largest economy on the continent. The sector has much potential for growth and so has attracted considerable foreign investment. Market liberalisation measures in recent years have led to hundreds of companies, many of them small and localised, being set up to provide a range of telecom and value-added services.

The regulator has licensed two regional infrastructure companies (InfraCos) to build a national broadband network and offer capacity to all service providers on a non-discriminatory, open-access and price-regulated basis. An additional five InfraCo licenses are expected to be awarded later in 2017.

Several microwave and fibre-based national backbone networks are being rolled out by various companies. 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. The landing of additional submarine cables (supported by improved domestic fibre infrastructure) has delivered a further boost to the country’s developing broadband sector by improving bandwidth and reducing prices for end-users.

Nigeria has Africa’s largest mobile market, with about 149 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, and the resulting fines imposed by the regulator encouraged network operators to invest in transmission infrastructure. Although GSM technology still dominates there is a growing shift to services based on LTE.

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 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 regulator has applied a price floor on voice and data tariffs in a bid to prevent the dominant operators from squeezing competitors. This price floor was reduced in November 2016 but swiftly retracted.

The country’s broadband sector has seen considerable consolidation among players, from over 400 ISPs in 2012 to fewer than 90 by mid-2017. Most internet connections are via mobile networks though there are also a number of WiMAX operators.

Supported by the expansion of national fibre backbone networks, platforms such as e-commerce, online banking and e-payments, e-health, e-learning and e-government are evolving rapidly. The government has continued with its plan to increase broadband penetration to 36% by 2018 and to enable over 80% of the population to be able to receive mobile broadband services.

Key developments:

  • Regulator prepares to auction five more InfraCo licences;
  • MTN Nigeria secures licence for spectrum in the 2.6GHz band;
  • State oil company NNPC allows part of its fibre infrastructure to be used for telecom services;
  • Regulator hopes for the telecoms sector to account for greater share of GDP by 2025;
  • Digital broadcasting migration process begins in six states;
  • Government devising strategy to increase broadband penetration to 36% by 2018;
  • Etisalat defaults on loan payments, ordered to transfer 45% holding in Etisalat Nigeria to loan trustees;
  • 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;
  • Report update includes regulator’s market data to April 2017, operator data to Q1 2017, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Nigerian Telecommunications (Nitel, M-Tel), Globacom, 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, Gateway Telecoms Integrated Services, Mobitel Nigeria, Prestel (O-Mobile), Galaxy Backbone, 21st Century Technologies, Main One, Brymedia, NigComSat, O3b Networks, WASACE, Glo Mobile (Globacom), Bharti Airtel, Etisalat Nigeria, Visafone, Starcomms (Capcom), Multi-Links, Reliance, InterC Network, Telkom, Econet Wireless, Vodacom, Cyberspace, Hyperia, Linkserve, Pinet Informatics, Odu’a Telecom, Swift Networks, Startech Connection, Netcom Africa, MWEB Nigeria, Gateway Communications, Accelon (Internet Solutions), Galaxy Information Technology and Telecommunication, Polestar, Naija Wi-Fi, Suburban Telecom, Zinox, Direct-on-PC, IP Direct, Starcomms, Layer3, Communication Trends Nigeria.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Key statistics
    • 1.1 Country overview
  • 2. Telecommunications market
    • 2.1 Historical overview
  • 3. Regulatory environment
    • 3.1 Regulatory authority
    • 3.2 National Telecommunications Policy (NTP)
    • 3.3 Nigerian Communications Act
    • 3.4 West African common regulatory framework
    • 3.5 Interconnection
    • 3.6 Infrastructure sharing
    • 3.7 Telecom taxes
    • 3.8 2.6GHz auction – 2016
    • 3.9 Universal service
      • 3.9.1 National Rural Telephony Program (NRTP)
      • 3.9.2 National Information Technology Development (NITD) Fund
      • 3.9.3 Backbone Transmission Infrastructure Project (BTRAIN)
    • 3.10 Telecom sector liberalisation
      • 3.10.1 Globacom’s SNO licence
      • 3.10.2 Regional fixed-wireless access (FWA) licences
      • 3.10.3 International gateway licences
      • 3.10.4 Unified licensing regime
      • 3.10.5 Regional broadband infrastructure licences
    • 3.11 Privatisation of Nitel
      • 3.11.1 IPO
      • 3.11.2 Liquidation
  • 4. Fixed network operators
    • 4.1 Nigerian Telecommunications (Nitel, defunct)
      • 4.1.1 Network infrastructure
      • 4.1.2 National backbone network
      • 4.1.3 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
      • 4.1.4 Services
    • 4.2 Globacom
      • 4.2.1 Network infrastructure
      • 4.2.2 Fibre optic backbone network
      • 4.2.3 International presence
      • 4.2.4 Services
      • 4.2.5 International expansion
    • 4.3 VGC Communications, MTN
    • 4.4 National Long-Distance Operators (NLDO)
    • 4.5 Fixed-wireless network operators
      • 4.5.1 MTS First Wireless
      • 4.5.2 Mobitel Nigeria
      • 4.5.3 Prestel (O-Mobile)
      • 4.5.4 Regional FWA operators
  • 5. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 5.1 Overview of the national telecom network
    • 5.2 Backbone networks
      • 5.2.1 National Information Infrastructure Backbone (NIIB)
      • 5.2.2 Galaxy Backbone
      • 5.2.3 Suburban Telecom
      • 5.2.4 Phase3 Telecom
      • 5.2.5 Backbone Connectivity Network (BCN)
      • 5.2.6 Private networks
    • 5.3 International terrestrial infrastructure
      • 5.3.1 The Central African Backbone (CAB)
      • 5.3.2 Nigeria – Niger link
      • 5.3.3 Trans-Saharan Backbone
      • 5.3.4 NNPC network
    • 5.4 International submarine infrastructure
      • 5.4.1 SAT-3/WASC
      • 5.4.2 Glo-1
      • 5.4.3 Main One
      • 5.4.4 WACS
      • 5.4.5 ACE
      • 5.4.6 WASACE
    • 5.5 Satellite
      • 5.5.1 Rascom
      • 5.5.2 NigComSat
      • 5.5.3 O3b Networks
    • 5.6 Data centres
  • 6. Broadband market
    • 6.1 Introduction and statistical overview
      • 6.1.1 Market analysis
      • 6.1.2 Internet Exchange Points (IXP)
      • 6.1.3 National Broadband Plan
      • 6.1.4 Broadband statistics
    • 6.2 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
      • 6.2.1 Nitel
      • 6.2.2 Cyberspace
      • 6.2.3 Hyperia
      • 6.2.4 Linkserve
      • 6.2.5 21st Century Technologies
      • 6.2.6 Pinet Informatics
    • 6.3 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) networks
    • 6.4 Other fixed broadband services
      • 6.4.1 Broadband over Powerlines (BPL)
      • 6.4.2 Fixed wireless
  • 7. Digital economy
    • 7.1 E-commerce, e-payments
    • 7.2 E-government
    • 7.3 E-health
    • 7.4 E-learning
  • 8. Digital media
    • 8.1 Cable TV
    • 8.2 Videostreaming
    • 8.3 Digital TV
    • 8.4 Communications: VoIP
  • 9. Mobile communications
    • 9.1 Market analysis
    • 9.2 Mobile statistics
      • 9.2.1 General statistics
      • 9.2.2 Mobile voice
      • 9.2.3 Mobile data
      • 9.2.4 Mobile broadband
      • 9.2.5 Forecasts – mobile subscribers – 2018; 2020; 2022
    • 9.3 Regulatory issues
      • 9.3.1 GSM licence terms
      • 9.3.2 Spectrum
      • 9.3.3 Interconnection
      • 9.3.4 Mobile tariffs
      • 9.3.5 Unified licensing regime
      • 9.3.6 Universal service
      • 9.3.7 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
      • 9.3.8 Quality of Service
      • 9.3.9 SIM card registration
    • 9.4 Mobile infrastructure
      • 9.4.1 International gateways
      • 9.4.2 National mobile infrastructure plan
      • 9.4.3 Tower infrastructure
      • 9.4.4 Analogue networks
      • 9.4.5 Digital networks
      • 9.4.6 Other infrastructure developments
    • 9.5 Major GSM mobile operators
      • 9.5.1 MTN Nigeria
      • 9.5.2 Bharti Airtel (formerly Zain/Celtel Nigeria)
      • 9.5.3 Globacom
      • 9.5.4 Etisalat Nigeria (EMTS, Mubadala)
      • 9.5.5 M-Tel
    • 9.6 Major CDMA mobile operators
      • 9.6.1 Multi-Links Telkom
      • 9.6.2 Reliance Telecommunications (Reltel, Zoom)
      • 9.6.3 Starcomms (Capcom)
      • 9.6.4 InterC Network (Intercellular Nigeria)
      • 9.6.5 Visafone
    • 9.7 Mobile content and applications
      • 9.7.1 Mobile money transfer, m-banking
      • 9.7.2 M-health
      • 9.7.3 Mobile TV
    • 9.8 Handset manufacturing
    • Table 1 – Country statistics – 2016 (e)
    • Table 2 – Fixed-line network statistics – 2017 (Mar)
    • Table 3 – Internet provider statistics – 2017
    • Table 4 – Internet user statistics – 2016 (e)
    • Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2017 (Apr)
    • Table 6 – National telecommunications authority
    • Table 7 – Telecom sector contribution to GDP – 2010 - 2016
    • Table 8 – Financial bids for Nitel/M-Tel, first and second round – 2010
    • Table 9 – Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1999 - 2009
    • Table 10 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2010 - 2018
    • Table 11 – VoIP lines by operator – 2016 - 2017
    • Table 12 – Fixed-wireless lines by operator – 2014 - 2017
    • Table 13 – Fixed-wired lines by operator – 2014 - 2017
    • Table 14 – International internet bandwidth in Nigeria – 2001 - 2016
    • Table 15 – Historic - Internet users and penetration rate in Nigeria – 2000 - 2009
    • Table 16 – Internet users and penetration rate in Nigeria – 2010 - 2017
    • Table 17 – Fixed-line broadband subscribers – 2007 - 2017
    • Table 18 – Fixed-line / fixed wireless broadband subscribers by operator – 2014 - 2017
    • Table 19 – Active fixed-wireless broadband lines – 2007 - 2015
    • Table 20 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1998 - 2009
    • Table 21 – Mobile subscribers (active) and penetration rate – 2010 – 2018
    • Table 22 – Mobile market share of subscribers by operator (GSM) – 2011 - 2017
    • Table 23 – Prepaid mobile subscribers – 2010 - 2016
    • Table 24 – Installed mobile base stations by GSM operator – 2013 - 2014
    • Table 25 – Installed mobile base stations by CDMA operator – 2013 - 2014
    • Table 26 – SMS traffic – 2006 - 2016
    • Table 27 – Mobile internet subscribers in Nigeria by operator (GSM) – 2012 - 2017
    • Table 28 – Active mobile broadband subscribers – 2010 - 2017
    • Table 29 – Forecast mobile subscribers in Nigeria – 2018; 2020; 2022
    • Table 30 – Outgoing mobile number portings – 2013 - 2017
    • Table 31 – GSM subscribers in Nigeria – 2014 - 2017
    • Table 32 – MTN mobile subscribers – 2011 - 2017
    • Table 33 – MTN Nigeria financial data – 2010 - 2016
    • Table 34 – MTN Nigeria revenue by type – 2015 - 2016
    • Table 35 – MTN Nigeria ARPU – 2002 - 2017
    • Table 36 – Airtel mobile subscribers – 2011 - 2017
    • Table 37 – Globacom mobile subscribers – 2011 - 2017
    • Table 38 – Etisalat mobile subscribers – 2011 - 2017
    • Table 39 – Etisalat mobile revenue and capex – 2013 - 2017
    • Table 40 – CDMA subscribers by operator – 2011 - 2017
    • Table 41 – Starcomms mobile subscribers – 2005 – 2014
    • Table 42 – Visafone mobile subscribers – 2009; 2013 - 2017
    • Chart 1 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2005 - 2018
    • Chart 2 - Internet users and penetration rate in Nigeria – 2000 - 2017
    • Chart 3 – Mobile subscribers and penetration – 2005 – 2018
    • Exhibit 1 – Regional FWA licensees
    • Exhibit 2 – Regional FWA licensees in Nigeria

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