Telecommunication in Nigeria has come a long way, particularly since the administration of former president, Olusegun Obasanjo whose administration ushered in multinational telecommunication into Nigeria.
According to Wikipedia, telecommunication is the transmission of signs, signals, messages, words, writings, images and sounds or information of any nature by wire, radio, optical or other electromagnetic systems.
Although the concept of telecommunication is somewhat broad as it covers television, radio, and others, but for the purpose of this post, we have chosen to limit it to voice and data communication types.
List of Telecommunication Companies Operating In Nigeria
Below are the top telecommunications companies in Nigeria and possible details on market share and coverage:
MTN Nigeria is a member of the MTN Group which is a South African-based multinational mobile telecommunications company operating in many African, European and Asian countries. While the MTN Group is South Africa based, it makes about 35% of its revenue from Nigeria and MTN Nigeria is what makes it such amount of revenue. It provides both telephone service as well as internet service and it is respected as one of the first and still the most popular telecommunication company in Nigeria.
Interestingly, MTN has the largest market share of telecommunication companies in Nigeria.
Airtel Nigeria is a subsidiary to Airtel Africa which in turn is the business of Bharti Airtel International. Aside from Nigeria, Airtel Africa does business in about 14 countries. Although Airtel has the second largest market share in Nigeria, it is somewhat notorious for undergoing several name changes owing to ownership.
Airtel started out as Econet and later changed to Zain, then Celtel before arriving at Airtel which has lasted longer than others all thanks to the management.
Globacom Limited simply known as Glo is a Nigerian multinational telecommunication firm with its headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria.
Glo is 100% Nigerian owned and has billionaire Mike Adenuga as its chairman. This telecommunication is the first telecommunication company in Nigeria to build an $800 million high-capacity fiber-optic cable (Glo-1) from the United Kingdom to Nigeria.
Glo is no doubt popular and has the third-largest market share in Nigeria.
Formerly known as Etisalat, 9mobile rebranded after it was sold out owing to debt issues. Prior to changing hands, Etisalat was a major competitor, particularly in the data sector of telecommunication. Although the network still enjoys a fair amount of popularity, its market share has dwindled greatly after it was sold.
The Nigeria Telecommunications Limited (NTEL) is the youngest on the list, it was registered and launched in April 2016. This company currently operates only in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. NTEL also boast of having a 4G LTE service.
NTEL provides high-speed broadband service, high-quality video without buffering as well as high definition crystal clear voice.
MainOne is one of the leading telecom service providers in Nigeria. This company just like the other ones above is equipped with world-class infrastructures that enable them to provide services such as connectivity services, SME in a box service, media services, MainOne DDOS protection service, data center service, and enterprise voice service amongst others.
MainOne is more famous in the dedicated internet world.
Smile Nigeria provides both internet and voice services. However, it is most known and popular for its internet service provider which is known to be one of the fastest.
It launched its 4G LTE service in Nigeria in 2014. This 4G LTE service is available in 8 cities in the country.
Swift Network Limited
Swift Network Limited has been in Nigeria since 2002. However, this is not that popular to many especially those not living in big cities.
They provide services such as broadband internet access, video conference, web and email hosting, surveillance solutions, virtual private networking services as well as collocation services.
Spectranet is the first internet service provider in Nigeria to provide a 4G LTE service which is available only in Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan, and Port Harcourt.
This company in 2016 was honored as the best broadband company of the year in Nigeria.