Trends shaping Nigeria's mobile data market


With over 125 million mobile phone subscribers, and four major mobile service providers including MTN, Bharti Airtel, Globacom and Etisalat who have invested billions of US dollars into base stations and fibre optic transmission to support the country’s increasing bandwidth demand, the mobile data market has grown significantly.

According to Kamar Abass, managing director of Ericsson Nigeria, the country’s over 50 million internet subscribers are shaping the mobile data market in Africa’s biggest economy.

“Some of the big trends are the ones you would recognise globally. Social network is enormously big but the fundamentals in Nigeria where there is no significant fixed network means that mobile is the means of accessing the internet to the vast majority of people and in relation,” Abass said.


The telecommunications and information services sector contributed 6.97 trillion naira, which is 8.68 per cent to the West African country economy. During the country’s rebasing the telecommunications sector outweighed its performance in the rebased GDP figures.

Nigeria’s market penetration was about 75 per cent, however the country still has challenges such as network congestion and quality of service which is blocking the country to achieve its potential growth in the telecoms industry.

“My sense in Nigeria is that even though economically there may be some challenges, the reality is that mobility is an efficient means of people doing business far more efficiently that many other things like taking transport to go to meetings or going out to physically investigate things rather than dialling up the web. So my sense is that mobility gives people a level of efficiency,” Abass explained.

Nigeria currently has six per cent broadband internet penetration.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s telecoms industry regulator last month expressed a willingness to create an industry driven regulatory framework to foresee the sanitisation of the country’s telecoms sector.