Nigeria has one of the biggest telecommunication markets in the world. The country has millions of telecommunication subscribers from all across the nation.
Before 2016, the Nigerian currency was stable because oil prices were high but since there was a fall in oil price, the country was unable to attract foreign investors and saw many problems.
With this, the Nigerian telecom sector faced a lot of challenges and problems because of dropping oil prices but in spite of all of this, Nigeria is still one of the latest telecom markets in entire Africa, having an active telecom customer base of over 190 million. As far as different network providers are concerned, then there are four main mobile network providers in Nigeria, which are MTN, Airtel, Globacom, and 9mobile. So, how do these mobile network providers stack up against each other and which of these network providers is the best? Let’s find out:
MTN was launched in Nigeria about two decades ago in 2001. It was among the first few network providers in the country and it is a subsidiary of the MTN group. Since its invention, the company has invested over $2 billion to provide fast, reliable, and affordable internet to subscribers all across the country.
Currently, MTN can be considered one of the best network providers in the country because of the services that it provides. MTN provides its service that includes telecom and data services to over 200 cities all across the country. It is Nigeria’s premier network provider and it is the largest privately-owned mobile network provider in the entire Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. MTN holds the biggest market share of all the network providers in entire Africa, having a customer base of over 62 million.
GLO or Globacom
GLO or Globacom was launched back in 2003, just two years after MTN was launched in the country. GLO is owned by the second richest Nigerian, Mike Adengua. After MTN, GLO is the second-best telecom network provider in the country, having more than 39 million subscribers from all across the country.
Along with Nigeria, GLO has expanded its services by providing its services across other African nations such as Ghana, Benin, etc. The famous GLO-1 submarine communication cable system along the west coast of Africa between Nigeria and the UK is owned by GLO. Because of the wide range of fast and reliable services that it offers, GLO is preferred by many customers in Nigeria.
Airtel is an Indian telecommunication company that operates in about 20 countries across Asia and Africa. The network provider is most popular in India, its origin country. In Nigeria, Airtel is one of the leading network providers and provides 2G, 3G, and 4G services all across the country.
Just like GLO, Airtel also has a very wide customer base with over 39 million subscribers from all across the country. If we compare the internet speeds of Airtel with other subscribers then in certain parts of the country, the online Speed Test has shown Airtel’s internet to be significantly faster and more reliable than other networks out there, even faster than GLO. So, between GLO and Airtel, it is a tie and depends on customers’ personal preferences.
Since 9mobile is a relatively new provider, it has taken over the market with a subscriber base of over 6 million users, which is around 7% of the market share. Although the company is relatively new, the company is trying its best to provide the best services to its subscribers from around the country.
These were the different mobile network providers that are prevalent in the Nigerian market. As far as coverage and services are concerned, MTN tops the table as it has a wider coverage and is even accessible in most rural areas.
It is a tough tie between Airtel and GLO, both of which are working hard to prove themselves in the country. Although Airtel doesn’t have as good of coverage as MTN, its services that include data plans and call tariffs are very affordable. The same is the case for GLO, which too offers cheap and affordable data & call plans. 9Mobile is a relatively new provider and it has yet to prove itself in the Nigerian market.