Airtel is increasing its investments to establish itself in the disputed Nigerian telecom market with MTN, Globacom and 9mobile. The company says it has invested around $10 billion in its Nigerian business over the past ten years.
The telecommunications company Airtel Nigeria, a subsidiary of Airtel Africa, plans to invest $700 million annually over the next three to four years to deploy its 5G network, install fiber optic cables and build data centers. This was revealed by Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Airtel, parent company of Airtel Africa, during his meeting with Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Monday, June 19.
This initiative is part of Airtel’s ambition to reinforce its growth strategy in Nigeria by meeting the growing demand for broadband connectivity. The company wants to accelerate the deployment of its 5G network to remain competitive against its competitor MTN, which launched its commercial ultra-broadband services in September 2022 and whose network already covers 13 cities in the country. The subsidiary of the South African multinational MTN Group is aiming for 10% coverage of the Nigerian population by the end of the year and nationwide coverage by 2025.
This investment should also enable Airtel to strengthen its position in the Nigerian telecom market. The company controls 27.01% of the nation’s mobile phone subscriber base, according to the regulator’s latest data. Its competitors 9mobile, Globacom and MTN hold 6%, 27.28% and 39.70% market share respectively.