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This page provides useful information about mobile technology in general and mobile networks and services in Nigeria, more specifically.

Mobile Networks in Nigeria: June 2014

  1. MTN – GSM/UMTS/HSDPA networks; DVB-H – 56,516,759 active subscribers –
  2. GloMobile – GSM/UMTS/HSDPA networks; DVB-H – 27,327,646 active subscribers –
  3. Airtel – GSM/UMTS/HSDPA networks – 25,302,160 active subscribers –
  4. Etisalat – GSM network – 19,390,285 active subscribers –
  5. Visafone – CDMA/EVDO networks – 2,004,010 active subscribers –
  6. Multilinks – CDMA/EVDO networks – 35,381 active subscribers –

Total Active Mobile Lines: April 2014

  • GSM: 126,958,904
  • CDMA: 2,256,612

TOTAL: 129,391,392
Source: NCC

Total Mobile Internet Subscriptions

June 2014
MTN: 33,944,987
Glo: 14,371,392
Airtel: 12,052,455
Etisalat: 6,828,671

TOTAL: 67,197,505

Nigerian Mobile Network Codes

You’ve seen those numbers, 0814xxxyyyy, 0909yyyxxxx, etc, and wondered which network owns which. Now, you can know. Note though that because of Mobile Number Portability (MNP), users are able to migrate a particular number from its native network to another. So, network codes don’t necessarily tell all anymore.

0701 Airtel Nigeria
07025 Visafone
07026 Visafone
07028 Starcomms
07029 Starcomms
07027 Multi-Links
0703 MTN Nigeria
0704 Visafone
0705 Globacom
0706 MTN Nigeria
0707 ZoomMobile (formerly Reltel)
0708 Airtel Nigeria
0709 Multi-Links
0802 Airtel Nigeria
0803 MTN Nigeria
0804 MTEL
0805 Globacom
0806 MTN Nigeria
0807 Globacom
0808 Airtel Nigeria
0809 Etisalat Nigeria
0810 MTN Nigeria
0811 Globacom
0812 Airtel Nigeria
0813 MTN Nigeria
0814 MTN Nigeria
0815 Globacom
0816 MTN Nigeria
0817 Etisalat Nigeria
0818 Etisalat Nigeria
0819 Starcomms
0902 Airtel Nigeria
0903 MTN Nigeria
0905 Globacom
0909 Etisalat Nigeria

Smartphone Users

There are an estimated 10+ million smartphones in use in Nigeria, broken down in the following ratio:
BlackBerry OS: 30%
Android OS: 50%
Others: 20%

History of Mobile in Nigeria

The first mobile cellular services began in 1993 with Mtel, but was elitist and restricted in every way. Later, other CDMA operators offered limited mobile phone services as a small segment of their bouquet of services.

Widespread mobile services however took off in August 2001 when Airtel Nigeria (then ECONET Wireless) launched the first commercial GSM services in Nigeria. In a few years, Nigeria was toasted everywhere as one of the fastest-growing mobile markets in the world. Nigeria has since overtaken South Africa to become Africa’s largest mobile market. MTN launched right after. In August 2003, Glo commenced operations, and Etisalat joined the GSM party in December 2009.

GPRS in Nigeria
As part of its 1st Anniversary celebration, Glo Mobile launched GPRS based services on August 29th, 2004.

3G in Nigeria
In 2007, four applicants were successful in obtaining a 10MHz lot each in the 2GHz band for third generation (3G) mobile services. The successful operators were:

  1. Alheri Engineering. Later sold license to Etisalat
  2. Celtel Nigeria (now Airtel)
  3. GloMobile
  4. MTN Nigeria Communications

In early 2008, GloMobile launched the first commercial 3G service on their UMTS/HSPA network, followed closely by MTN. Alheri later sold their 3G license to Etisalat Nigeria, which rolled out their service in 2011.

Mobile TV in Nigeria

At the moment, only MTN and GloMobile offer mobile TV (DVB-H) services in the country. They both have Dstv Mobile service available to subscribers with type handsets.

Active 4G LTE Networks in Nigeria

  • Smile 4G – 800 MHz band. Commercial services were launched in February 2013
  • Spectranet – 2300 MHz band
  • Swift 4G – Spectrum info unavailable

Mobile Internet Settings

If you ever need to manually configure your mobile for web browsing, here are settings for Nigerian networks.


  • Proxy : Nil (No proxy needed)
  • APN Name: internet
  • Password: Nil (No password needed)
  • IP Version: IPv4

NOTE: User must attempt to scan manually for the LTE network, which is SMILE NG or 62127.


  • Account Name: MTN GPRS
  • Access Point Name (APN):
  • Username: web
  • Password: web
  • IP Address:
  • Port: 9201 (for WAP) or 8080 (for HTML)


  • Account Name: Airtel Mobile Internet
  • Access Point Name (APN):
  • Username: internet (or blank)
  • Password: internet (or blank)
  • IP Address: none
  • Port: none


  • Account Name: Glo High Speed Internet
  • Access Point Name (APN): gloflat
  • Username: flat
  • Password: flat
  • IP Address: none
  • Port: none


  • Account Name: Etisalat
  • Access Point Name (APN): etisalat
  • Username: none
  • Password: none
  • IP Address: none
  • Port: none


  • Server IP:
  • Server Port: 8080
  • Server Dial: #777 (optional on some phones)
  • Login Name:
  • Password: wap

Mobile In General

The mobile phone has evolved from a voice apparatus to a multi-functional device that offers increasingly sophisticated applications. No other device has come close to the sophistication, the versatility and the power of the mobile phone.

Convergent technologies have now combined the mobile phone and various services – web, email, mobile TV, FM radio, card reader, camera, mobile computer, e-books, music player, voice recorder, flash drive, games, and GPS navigation, among others.

Actually, there’s no point calling it “phone” any longer. Perhaps just “mobile” will do.

Glossary of GSM Terms & Data Speeds

Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) is the most popular standard for mobile phones in the world. Below are the data services currently available on GSM networks in Nigeria.

  • 2G/GPRS – General Packet Radio Service; theoretical top speed: 115 kbps
  • 2.5G/EGPRS – Enhanced General Packet Radio Service; theoretical top speed: 384 kbps. EGPRS is popularly known as EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution)
  • DVB-H – Digital Video Broadcast – Handheld. A mobile broadcast technology that allows for the digital terrestrial broadcast of live television channels to a mobile phone.
  • 3G/UMTS – Universal Mobile Telecommunications System; theoretical top speed: 384 Kbps
  • 3.5G/HSDPA – High Speed Data Packet Access; theoretical top speed: 7.2 Mbps
  • 3.75G/HSPA+ – High Speed Data Packet Access; theoretical top speed: 42 Mbps
  • 4G/LTE – High Speed Data Packet Access; theoretical top speed: 150 Mbps

Glossary of CDMA2000 Terms & Data Speeds

Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) is a competing mobile technology to GSM. Below are the data services currently available on CDMA networks in Nigeria.

  • 1x – theoretical top speed: 153 Kbps
  • EVDO Rev. 0 – Evolution-Data Optimized; theoretical top speed: 2.4 Mbps
  • EVDO Rev. A – Evolution-Data Optimized; theoretical top speed: 3.1 Mbps

Nigerian GSM Frequencies

If roaming to Nigeria, or intending to import GSM mobile phones into the country, be sure to note the following specifications required for the Nigerian market:

  • 2G network: GSM 900 / 1800
  • 3G network: HSDPA 2100

Check your Mobile Browser User Agent & IP Address

Check your mobile browser’s User Agent and your network’s IP address.

What is a Smartphone?

A smartphone is a mobile device with voice and data capabilities and which runs an operating system that allows the installation and running of third party native applications.

Some of the currently available smartphone operating systems are:

  1. BlackBerry OS
  2. iOS
  3. Android OS
  4. Windows Phone OS

Some useful Articles to help you on your way

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