An international study has ranked the recent acquisition of 9mobile formerly Etisalat Nigeria as one of the milestones of the Nigerian telecoms market.
The Nigeria- Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband – Statistics and Analyses report by Reportbuyer,a leading industry intelligence solution that provides all market research reports from top publishers, also reveals that Nigeria is making progress in promoting broadband investments.
The report listed the shortlisting of bidders for the acquisition of 9Mobile as one of the key developments that shaped the local telecoms market in 2018.
Nigerian regulators overseeing the 9mobile saleannounced that they have finally transferred the number four mobile phone company to new owners, Teleology Nigeria Limited, following the successful transaction.
The report also says that the Nigerian broadband space is one to watch as the telecoms regulator has issued licences two more Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) under the broader national plan.
The broader plan will see the Nigerian government devising strategy to increase broadband penetration to 30% by end-2018 and increase mobile broadband penetration to 50% by 2020;
Government’s pledges to deploy 18,000km of fibre to extend broadband to rural areas also came under spotlight in the report.
According to the report, “during 2016 the economy went into recession, though GDP growth returned in 2017. Given the potential for further growth, the telecom sector attracts 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 mobile sector has benefited from market competition and the wider deployment of LTE technologies, which have in turn supported operator revenue growth and encouraged the adoption of mobile broadband among subscribers. Other than the key mobile network operators, there are a number of additional players operating under a unified licensing regime,the report says.
“The regulator has licensed four 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 three InfraCo licences are expected to be awarded by mid-2018.”
The report authors says that Nigeria’s competitive fixed-line market includes a second national operator (Globacom) and over 80 other licensed companies. “The alternative carriers combined provide around 85% of all fixed connections, though in general terms about 80% of all connections are wireless.”
Also, Nigeria’s broadband sector has seen considerable consolidation among players, from over 400 ISPs in 2012 to fewer than 90 by early 2018. Most internet connections are via mobile networks,principally GSM and 3G and more recently LTE, though there are a number of WiMAX operators which have found niche markets, the report goes to say.
The government has continued with its plan to increase broadband penetration to 30% by 2018 and to increase mobile broadband penetration to 50% by 2020. To this end the regulator is looking to auction additional spectrum in the 700MHz and 2.3GHz bands, the report summarises.
According to the authors of the report,Nigeria “has Africa’s largest mobile market, with about 142 million subscribers and a penetration rate of 101%. The number of subscribers fell in 2017 as consumers responded to a poor economic climate, adopted other OTT channels for voice and data services, and as regulatory measures continued to oblige operators to disconnect unregistered SIM cards.”
Some of the key developments cited in the Nigerian Telecoms Market include:
- Regulator licences two more InfraCos;
- Government pledges to deploy 18,000km of fibre to extend broadband to rural areas;
- 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 a greater share of GDP by 2025;
- Government devising strategy to increase broadband penetration to 30% by end-2018,increase mobile broadband penetration to 50% by 2020;
- Bidders shortlisted for acquisition of 9Mobile;
- Regulator prepares to revise mobile interconnection rate;
- MTN Nigeria extends licenses for spectrum in the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands to August 2021.