5 Mar 2010

Nigeria’s broadband market set to boom thanks to improved international connectivity

The last few weeks have abounded with news on Nigeria’s telecoms market, from the announcement of the departure of regulator Ernest Ndukwe to company launches and announcements relating to submarine cable projects.
Nigeria is Africa’s largest communications market, and the eighth fastest growing telecommunication market in the world. It offers ideal conditions for continued expansion: a large young population, levels of penetration that leave room for growth (54.8% mobile penetration at the end of 2009, and limited fixed market), favourable regulatory conditions (which were led by Ernest Ndukwe during his 10 year leadership at the Nigerian Communications Commission), high level of investment and a very competitive telecommunications market.
However, it has so far suffered from insufficiencies in the networks and from the lack of international connectivity. But this is changing, thanks to international projects that are coming to fruition this year and will increase available capacity for broadband services. One of them is the Glo 1 submarine cable system landed in Lagos last September, which is due to connect Nigeria to West Africa and Europe. Another is led by Main One Cable; it is in the final stage of deployment of its high capacity fibre-optic cable between Portugal, Ghana and Nigeria, and is due to go live in June this year.
These projects will enable the provision of faster, more broadly available internet services. They will create great opportunities for the major mobile operators (MTN, Zain, Glo, Etisalat), and for the many alternative operators and ISPs such as Starcomms, Zoom Mobile, Pinet Informatics, GiCell Wireless, or new entrant Geoidtel.
A number of them will be speaking at the forthcoming West & Central Africa Com congress to take place in Dakar, Senegal in June. An additional event will be held in Lagos, Nigeria in September, dedicated solely to the trends and opportunities in Nigeria’s market, with representation from the whole market’s ecosystem: fixed, mobile and wireless operators, ISPs, the NCC, government organisation, investors and more. Don’t miss this opportunity to get to know Nigeria’s telecommunications market and meet its leaders.