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Nigeria's mobile operators are investing heavily in expanding their networks to offer better quality and services to their existing and potential subscribers, especially those in untapped rural areas. For example, Globacom recently signed deals with Huawei and ZTE worth $1.25bn in total, and Etisalat in May 2013 secured a $1.2bn loan to fund its network expansion plans in Nigeria. With mobile penetration at 66%, the Nigerian mobile segment presents plenty of opportunities, especially with mobile number portability having commenced only in April 2013.
Introduction and Landscape
The telecom sector in Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, generated $9.3bn in 2012. Operators in the mobile sector continue to invest in expanding their networks to offer better quality and services to their existing and potential subscribers. The operators are expected to spend billions of dollars rolling out new infrastructure to reach untapped regions. For example, Globacom recently signed deals with Huawei and ZTE worth $1.25bn in total, and Etisalat in May 2013 secured a $1.2bn loan to fund its network expansion plans in Nigeria. During the forecast period, we expect a moderate growth of 3.7% in local currency, equivalent to 1.6% in dollar terms. The mobile broadband segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of 28.1%, and mobile services in the country are expected to benefit handsomely from this development. With such a fast pace of growth for the market, an increase in congestion and a decrease in service quality is a concern for the regulator, which is expected to take further steps to ensure that subscribers are provided with the best of service. Fixed service revenue, excluding pay-TV, is expected to contract at a CAGR of -22.2%, due to drops in fixed circuit-switched voice and Internet revenue streams. Pay-TV will be the only bright spot for the fixed sector and is expected to grow from $788m in 2012 to $914m by 2017.