Mobi-pedia Nigeria

Nigerian flag face

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

Mobile Networks in Nigeria: February 2014

  1. MTN – GSM/UMTS/HSDPA networks; DVB-H – 57,183,745 active subscribers – www.mtnonline.com
  2. GloMobile – GSM/UMTS/HSDPA networks; DVB-H – 24,490,650 active subscribers – www.gloworld.com
  3. Airtel – GSM/UMTS/HSDPA networks – 26,194,336 active subscribers – www.ng.airtel.com
  4. Etisalat – GSM network – 18,119,397 active subscribers – www.etisalat.com.ng
  5. Visafone – CDMA/EVDO networks – 2,063,330 active subscribers – www.visafone.com.ng
  6. Starcomms – CDMA/EVDO networks – 188,235 active subscribers – www.starcomms.com
  7. Multilinks – CDMA/EVDO networks – 50,135 active subscribers – www.multilinks.com

Total Active Mobile Lines: January 2014

  • GSM: 125,173,177
  • CDMA: 2,421,970

TOTAL: 127,960,580
Source: NCC

Total Mobile Internet Subscriptions

February 2014
MTN: 32,809,357
Glo: 14,908,109
Airtel: 9,647,217
Etisalat: 6,109,681

TOTAL: 63,474,364

Smartphone Users

There are an estimated 10 million smartphones in use in Nigeria.

BlackBerry Subscription

Estimates gathered from sources in Nigeria’s four GSM networks indicate that there were now about 2 million BlackBerry handsets active inside of the said networks put together as at December 2012.

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) 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.

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.

Mobile Internet Settings

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

MTN

  • Account Name: MTN GPRS
  • Access Point Name (APN): web.gprs.mtnnigeria.net
  • Username: web
  • Password: web
  • IP Address: 10.199.212.2
  • Port: 9201 (for WAP) or 8080 (for HTML)

Airtel

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

Glo

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

Etisalat

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

Visafone

  • Server IP: 192.168.165.201
  • Server Port: 8080
  • Server Dial: #777 (optional on some phones)
  • Login Name: wap@wap.com
  • 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
  2. iOS
  3. Android
  4. Windows Phone

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