Updated in 2024, the current status and trajectory of telecom companies in Nigeria illustrate an impressive commitment to providing accessible and high-quality communication services. Nigeria boasts a wide variety of telecom providers, each contributing significantly to the nation’s socio-economic development and growth.
This article provides an in-depth exploration of the telecom companies in Nigeria, presenting an up-to-date list of telecommunication companies in the country.
These telecommunication companies, a pillar in Nigeria’s economic infrastructure, drive the rapid digitization and transformation of various sectors, enabling not only the nation but Africa as a whole to step boldly into the digital future.
Join us as we journey through the innovative world of telecommunications in Nigeria.
- Telecom companies in Nigeria have significantly contributed to the country’s economic and technological growth.
- With major players like MTN, Globacom, Airtel, and 9mobile, the industry offers widespread mobile and data connectivity, increasingly adopting advanced technologies like 4G LTE, and is now gearing towards 5G.
Get to know about the Fintech sector by reading – Top 50 Fintech Companies in Nigeria in 2023
List of the Top 10+ Telecom Companies in Nigeria
In the highly competitive telecommunications sector in Nigeria, several companies have risen above the rest in terms of subscriber base, network coverage, and innovation.
The telecom sector contributes about 8.83% to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as of the second quarter of 2020. Here, we take a look at the top 10 plus telecom companies operating in Nigeria.
- MTN Nigeria Communications PLC
- Airtel Networks Limited (Airtel Africa PLC)
- Globacom Limited
- BroadBased Communications Limited
- 9Mobile(Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Ltd)
- MainOne Service Company Limited
- Fiberone Broadband Limited
- Backbone Connectivity Network (Nigeria) Limited
- Viasat Inc.
- SpaceX LLC
- ipNX Nigeria Limited
- Tizeti Network Limited
- Ngcom Networks Solutions
1. MTN Nigeria Communications PLC
MTN Nigeria is a subsidiary of the MTN Group, Africa’s largest cellular telecommunications provider. The company emerged as the first mobile operator in Nigeria to obtain a 5G technology trial license from the Nigerian Communications Commission.
It has a large network infrastructure, with its services covering almost every corner of the country. The telecom company continues to invest significantly in state-of-the-art technology, products, and services, ensuring a strong foothold in the Nigerian telecommunications sector.
The strength of MTN lies in its competitive pricing strategies, large user base, comprehensive product portfolio, and high-speed data connectivity, which positions it as a leader in the telecom sector.
Take time to read through the – Top 15 Tech Companies in Lagos, Nigeria | TransferXO Rankings
2. Airtel Networks Limited (Airtel Africa PLC)
Airtel Nigeria, part of the Bharti Airtel group, is one of Africa’s leading mobile telecommunications providers. The company holds a considerable market share, underpinned by strong brand recognition.
Known for providing a variety of affordable tariff plans and exceptional data and call quality, it continues to invest in network expansion and 4G upgrades across the country.
Airtel also sets itself apart with customer-focused services such as a personalized ‘My Airtel’ App and value-added services. Its consistent commitment to innovation, quality service delivery, and customer satisfaction sets it as one of the leading telecommunications providers in Nigeria.
3. Globacom Limited
Globacom Limited, known as Glo, is a major player in Nigeria’s telecom sector. Founded in 2003, Glo stands as Nigeria’s first indigenous and privately-owned telecommunications network provider. This has attracted significant national loyalty and brand equity.
Glo is recognized for launching the first 4G LTE network in West Africa, which dramatically enhanced internet speeds and coverage across Nigeria. Their affordable data plans, extensive 4G network, excellent coverage, and innovative value-added services are their unique selling propositions.
They also offer digital solutions such as mobile banking and app-based services, which contribute to their growth and competitiveness in Nigeria’s telecom industry.
4. BroadBased Communications Limited
BroadBased Communications Limited, popularly known as BBCOM, is among the leading telecom companies in Nigeria. Founded in 2012, it provides premium quality metro fiber-optic telecommunications services and infrastructure to businesses and organizations across Nigeria.
BBCOM is recognized for its significant contribution to the digital transformation of Nigeria by deploying 3,500 km of high-speed broadband within Lagos state. What sets them apart is their robust fiber optic network, unrivaled reliability, and low latency.
They deliver high-speed internet, intracity, and intercity fiber-optic connectivity solutions, which enhance business performance. Thus, making it the top choice for many Nigerian businesses for their telecommunication needs.
5. 9Mobile(Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Ltd)
9Mobile, also known as Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Ltd (EMTS), is one of the top telecom companies in Nigeria. It was originally established as Etisalat Nigeria and was rebranded as 9Mobile in 2017.
9Mobile stands out for its exceptional service and excellent customer satisfaction. It offers a wide range of services including mobile, fixed, broadband, 3G, 4G services, and much more.
9Mobile’s commitment to innovation, simplicity, and quality makes it one of the most preferred telecom companies in Nigeria. It aims to empower Nigerians with the power of communication and advanced technologies, setting the pace in network quality and efficiency.
6. MainOne Service Company Limited
MainOne Service Company Limited is one of the leading telecommunications companies in Nigeria that provides a plethora of innovative services. The company stands out because it provides superior network connectivity solutions and also offers broadband-based services.
They run a 7,000km submarine cable which ensures reliable high-speed internet service. Moreover, Main One prides itself on delivering world-class, reliable, and secure Internet services that support businesses and aid growth in the region.
This approach has helped Main One Service Company Limited gain its place as one of Nigeria’s top telecommunication providers, consistently setting new standards in the industry with its excellent services and products.
7. Fiberone Broadband Limited
Fiberone Broadband Limited is among the top telecom companies in Nigeria, known for providing super-fast and unlimited broadband services to various segments, including residential, SME, and large enterprises.
What makes them stand out is their impressive technological infrastructure that facilitates top-quality connectivity without interruptions. They ensure the smooth running of internet-dependent operations, be it online gaming, movie streaming, or professional tasks.
They offer plans that are not only affordable but also flexible to meet diverse user needs. Exceptional customer service is another major strength, with a 24/7 technical support system for efficient problem resolution.
8. Backbone Connectivity Network (Nigeria) Limited
Backbone Connectivity Network (Nigeria) Limited, often recognized as BCN, ranks among the top telecom providers in Nigeria. It offers a variety of services ranging from high-speed broadband, leased lines, metropolitan and wide area network services, and IP VPN solutions to cloud services.
The reason it excels is because it’s deeply committed to promoting internet access and digital services throughout Nigeria. Their key differentiator is their ability to provide custom-built solutions that suit the specific needs of clients from different sectors.
Moreover, their highly professional staff members are known for providing round-the-clock support, contributing to BCN’s position as a preferred telecom partner for many businesses.
9. Viasat Inc.
Viasat Inc., an American communications company, operates impressively within Nigeria’s telecommunication space, delivering high-quality internet service. Their offerings are more comprehensive compared to typical telecoms firms, with specialization in satellite broadband and wireless services, catering for commercial and residential uses.
Notably, they’ve bridged the internet access gap in Nigeria’s remote areas via reliable, high-speed satellite broadband. This distinct operation has provided numerous Nigerians access to education, healthcare, and commerce, promoting social and economic growth.
Furthermore, their internet service provides critical backup during terrestrial network outages. Viasat’s unparalleled service quality and broad reach set them apart as one of the top telecom companies in Nigeria.
10. SpaceX LLC
SpaceX LLC is one of the global frontiers of innovative telecommunications, and it is making an impact in Nigeria. Through their advanced Starlink satellite internet service, SpaceX is addressing internet accessibility issues across rural and underdeveloped areas of Nigeria.
They provide superfast broadband internet connectivity that surpasses most traditional telecom service providers. Beyond offering excellent speed internet, SpaceX contributes significantly to developing Nigeria’s telecom sector, leading the satellite internet revolution with lower latency.
What places SpaceX LLC on the top is its unique approach to overcoming infrastructural challenges associated with traditional telecommunication and its efforts in digitizing rural and remote communities, ultimately fueling socio-economic progress.
11. ipNX Nigeria Limited
Established in the year 2000, ipNX Nigeria Limited is one of the leading ICT companies in Nigeria, providing a plethora of telecommunications and digital services to businesses and individual customers.
The firm has a notable presence with robust infrastructure and excellent customer service, offering products ranging from Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH), Voice, Internet Access, and Data Center Services, among others.
ipNX thrives on innovative technological solutions and seamless connectivity, which guarantees customer satisfaction and reliability. Furthermore, its extensive range of high-quality services has helped ipNX secure a firm position in Nigeria’s dynamic ICT market.
12. Tizeti Network Limited
Tizeti Network Limited is a pioneering Nigerian company redefining internet services in Nigeria by providing affordable, unlimited, and fast broadband service. It leverages solar-powered Wi-Fi towers to deliver uninterrupted internet service to residences, businesses, and hotspot areas.
Their distinct model, affordability, and the promise of reliable, unlimited internet access have attracted over 1 million users. The firm also extends its services to four of the largest states in Nigeria.
Moreover, Tizeti is one of the first ISPs to deliver internet services using a 100% solar-powered system in Africa, showcasing their commitment to renewable energy and a sustainable business model.
13. Ngcom Networks Solutions
Ngcom Networks Solutions is one of the top telecom companies in Nigeria, with its unparalleled contributions to the Nigerian telecommunications space. Renowned for its efficient internet service provision, this Lagos-based company has made a name for itself in the broadband service space.
It offers a wide range of products, including broadband services, cloud solutions, and network security, all of which are recognized for their quality and reliability. What sets Ngcom Network Solutions apart is its emphasis on customer-centric services, cutting-edge technology, and constant innovation.
With these attributes, they have maintained an unwavering commitment to offering high-speed, stable, and reliable connectivity solutions, enhancing customer experiences, and driving growth in the Nigerian telecommunications industry. Their persistent strides in connectivity and cloud solutions truly make them a leading telecom player in Nigeria.
Don’t miss out to read the – Top 15 Companies That Buy Cryptocurrencies in Nigeria | TransferXO 2024 List if you are interested in crypto trading.
Factors Contributing to the Success of the Top Telecom Companies in Nigeria
Telecommunication plays a crucial role in Nigeria, offering residents of this large, sprawling country a means to stay connected and facilitate communication in business and everyday life. In a market filled with diverse telecom companies, several names come to the fore with their impressive performance.
But what factors contribute to the success of the top telecom companies in Nigeria? Here are some aspects worth exploring.
1. Widespread Network Coverage
One major reason for the success of top telecom companies in Nigeria, like MTN Nigeria and Airtel Nigeria, is their widespread network coverage. Reaching out to remote corners of the country ensures they tap into vast consumer bases, which ultimately enhances their customer numbers and, by extension, their revenue.
2. Quality of Services
Good service quality goes a long way in ensuring customer loyalty. Features like seamless voice call connectivity, fast data services, effective customer support, and low frequency of service interruptions all add up to create an appealing telecom brand.
3. Competitive Pricing
While Nigerians appreciate good network service, they are also price-sensitive consumers. Companies that offer high-quality services at competitive prices generally do better than their counterparts who provide the same quality but at higher rates.
4. Constant Innovations
In a fast-paced industry such as telecom, constant innovation and adaptation to current trends are pivotal. The top telecom companies always seem to be ahead of the curve in terms of adopting the latest technology.
Features like mobile money transfers, online recharge, data rollover, and cheap international calls are key to these companies’ success.
5. Extensive Marketing
Good visibility is integral to customer acquisition and retention. This involves creating eye-catching campaigns that resonate with the target market. A vivid brand identity combined with smart and persistent advertising goes a long way in establishing a strong market presence.
6. Government Policy and Regulatory Compliance
Compliance with regulations laid down by the Nigerian Communications Commission is a factor that shouldn’t be overlooked.
By fulfilling the statutory requirements and adhering to policies, telecom companies stand less chance of incurring penalties that may negatively impact their operations or brand image.
7. Partnership and Collaboration
Partnerships with local and international organizations give these companies an edge. These collaborations, whether they be technological, promotional, or functional, aid in delivering an array of services that wouldn’t be possible for one company to offer alone.
Success in the telecom industry in Nigeria doesn’t happen by chance. It’s a well-thought-out strategic approach that encompasses robust network coverage, exceptional service delivery, pricing that appeals to consumers, a continual embrace of technological advancements, active and resonating marketing, policy compliance, and beneficial partnerships.
Only companies that combine these aspects will keep staying at the top of the pack.
Check out the list of – Top 15 Real Estate Companies in Lagos, Nigeria who Accept Full Cryptocurrency in 2024
How These Telecom Companies Adapt to Technological Advancements and Digital Trends
Technological advancements and digital trends are revolutionizing industries worldwide, and the telecom sector in Nigeria is no exception. Local telecommunication companies have to rapidly adapt to stay competitive in this ever-evolving market.
They embrace and implement various cutting-edge technologies and digital strategies to enhance their services, drive growth, and remain relevant. Here is how telecom companies in Nigeria are adjusting to technological advancements and digital trends.
1. Implementing 4G and 5G Networks
These are the next-generation networks providing faster, more efficient data transfer. Major telecom players in Nigeria such as MTN, Glo, Airtel, and 9mobile are embracing these new network technologies to enhance the internet browsing experience for their users.
2. Cloud Computing
Telecom companies in Nigeria are also incorporating cloud technologies into their services. By using cloud-based solutions, they can offer more reliable services, data security, and accessibility. This enhances efficiency and productivity for their business customers.
3. Big Data Analytics
With the massive amount of data generated daily, telecom companies are turning to big data analytics. It helps them understand their customer’s behavior, preferences, and patterns, thereby aiding in decision-making processes and offering more personalized services.
4. Internet of Things (IoT)
Many Nigerian telecom companies are taking advantage of the IoT technology. By connecting multiple devices and sharing information across these devices, companies can create smart solutions and new service offerings for their customers.
5. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning
AI and machine learning have become critical in predicting customer behavior and delivering personalized services. Many telecom companies are adopting these technologies to improve their customer service and reduce operating costs.
6. Mobile Banking
Digital transformation has encouraged many telecom operators in Nigeria to partner with financial institutions to provide mobile banking services. These digital banking services offer customers ease of transaction and provide telecoms with a new revenue stream.
As telecom companies adopt more advanced technologies, the need for strong cybersecurity measures has increased. They invest heavily in cybersecurity measures to protect customer data and maintain the trust and loyalty of their customers.
Challenges Telecom Companies Face in Nigeria, and How They Are Addressing Them
Telecommunication companies in Nigeria have greatly evolved over the years. They are not just responsible for voice calls and text messages but have diversified their services to provide various value-added services.
However, this doesn’t negate the challenges that they still face, here are a few of them and the steps being taken to address them.
1. Infrastructure Deficiency
Telecom companies in Nigeria struggle with providing consistent and reliable services due to a lack of efficient infrastructure. Factors like electricity outages and a weak internet connection can hinder services.
Some telecom companies have decided to take matters into their own hands by constructing more telecommunication towers, developing local power generation solutions, and optimizing the performance of their existing network infrastructure.
2. Regulation and Government Policies
Some government policies and regulations can hamper the growth and effectiveness of telecom companies. For instance, regulations regarding licenses, frequency allocation, tariffs, and taxes could place a strain on these companies.
Telecom companies are mitigating these challenges by engaging in constant dialogue with the government and regulators, advocating for more favorable policies, and employing effective corporate governance and compliance mechanisms.
3. Market Saturation
The telecom market in Nigeria is saturated, and as such, it’s hard for companies to grow their subscriber base and market share. Companies are combating this by adopting innovative business models and providing unique and diversified services, such as value-added services, to differentiate themselves from competitors.
4. Cyber Security Threats
Like many other industries, telecoms face a significant risk from cyber attacks, given the large amount of personal and sensitive data they hold.
In response, telecom companies are investing heavily in cyber security infrastructure, staff training, and establishing strong internal controls. They also work with national and international agencies to keep abreast of the latest threats and defense strategies.
5. High Operating Costs
Inflation, high cost of fuel and equipment, and high tariff charges are a few factors that contribute to high operating costs. To address these issues, companies are leveraging technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve operational efficiency.
Furthermore, they’re entering into strategic partnerships to share infrastructure and hence, reduce costs. They’re also renegotiating contracts with suppliers to secure favorable terms.
Also, check out TransferXO’s list of the top 50 Most Successful Cryptocurrency Companies in Nigeria
How These Companies Address Cybersecurity Concerns in the Telecommunications Industry in Nigeria
Nigeria’s telecommunication industry, a critical pillar of its economy, has faced increasing cyber threats in recent years. To counter this, key companies in the sector are focusing heavily on enhancing cybersecurity.
For example, the leading company, MTN Nigeria, implements state-of-the-art technology, such as machine learning, to detect, track, and prevent cyber attacks in real-time.
Similarly, Globacom and Airtel Nigeria have stringent cyber risk management strategies and conduct regular system audits to detect any vulnerabilities.
Also, the Nigerian Communications Commission has stepped up efforts to encourage the adoption of robust cybersecurity measures and run extensive awareness campaigns about phishing and ransomware attacks.
They collaborate with local and international partners, investing in the training of a qualified cybersecurity workforce and exploring innovative solutions for the protection of digital assets and sensitive data.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the biggest telecom company in Nigeria?
As of now, MTN Nigeria is the biggest telecom company in Nigeria in terms of number of subscribers.
Which company has the cheapest call and data rates?
This is subjective as it often depends on the exact package or plan chosen by the user. However, Globacom generally offers competitive rates for both calls and data.
What are the requirements to register a SIM card?
To register a SIM card, you need a form of identification such as a national ID, driver’s license, or passport. You would also need to provide your details and a passport-sized photograph. Biometrics (such as fingerprints) are also often captured.
Telecom companies in Nigeria have transformed the way people communicate, creating a robust network that supports economic growth and social connections. Despite various challenges, such as poor infrastructure and strict regulations, these companies have strived to deliver innovative solutions.
The rise of mobile technology has brought new opportunities for growth, including in areas such as mobile banking and online commerce.
As Nigeria continues to embrace the digital revolution, telecom companies are positioned to drive this growth and become increasingly integral to the everyday lives of Nigerians. Their continued investment and innovation will undeniably shape Nigeria’s digital future.