We hold a positive and favourable outlook for the Nigerian mobile market and the telecommunications sector as a whole. Mobile penetration topped 82% in Q315 and broadband penetration still remains very low. There remains significant demand for traditional voice and data services that has gone thus far untapped. A rapidly maturing tower market will enable operators to extend networks into rural areas more cost effectively, while allocation of wholesale Infraco licences will ensure investment into next generation broadband networks. However, there are important industry and external risks to smooth growth.
Nigeria's government has twice postponed 4G spectrum auctions and has requested a report investigating the sale of incumbent telecoms operator NITEL, which will delay investment into wireline and mobile data networks. Meanwhile, power shortages, a weaker economic outlook amid lower oil prices and ongoing terrorist attacks all pose additional operational challenges and downside risk to our growth outlook.
Latest Updates & Industry Developments
- The market posted significant growth in 9M15 and ended Q315 with a total of 150.5mn mobile subscribers, a penetration rate of over 82.5%.
- A total of 11.57mn new subscribers were added in 9M15, beating our initial estimates. We believe the overall mobile figure is likely to jump to 168.2mn by the end of 2016 before ending our forecast period with an impressive 196.2mn in 2019. We do nevertheless caution that there could still exist a significant amount of inactive connections in the market that could pose a downside risk to our forecast.
- The mandatory registration process enforced by the government has spelled significant trouble for market leader, MTN. MTN failed to deactivate around 5mn unregistered accounts by the August 2015 deadline.
MTN was originally fine USD5.2bn, a sum which was later reduced to USD3.9bn. SHOW LESS READ MORE >
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