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Nigeria – Africa’s mobile engine brings forth mobile business opportunities

Nigeria – Africa’s mobile engine brings forth mobile business opportunities

Diesel engines, powering many cell towers in Nigeria, have helped stabilize mobile coverage across the biggest nation in Africa, enabling and driving mobile penetration to a current rate of about 60% (100 million users). This makes Nigeria the 10th biggest mobile market in the world, which translates into big mobile business opportunities.

As a rule, trends that apply to much of the rest of the world do not apply to Nigeria; for instance, the broadband penetration rate in the country is just 27%, and service is available only in bigger hubs. The infrastructure problems that have slowed broadband penetration have put wind in the sails of mobile internet usage that has lately been rapidly growing.

All this indicates a strong shift toward mobile, but it’s not just the fixed Internet that is being overshadowed; it’s also wallets. Cashless Lagos is the latest initiative by the government, setting the stage for people to shift to electronic means of payment instead of cash. This aligns perfectly with Mobile money providers, pushing more users to join (only 25% people in Nigeria have bank cards, making mobile the only viable strategy to transition to a cashless society). Mobile money services have claimed great success elsewhere in Africa (Kenya, with its adoption of M-pesa, is a fantastic example), and there is no reason to think that Nigeria will not be as successful.

It’s not just the fact that mobile has become the main access point for Internet and a major step toward cashless payments, but also that people love to use their devices (the average user spends more than 2 hours a day communicating, socializing, learning, playing, etc. on a mobile device). Nigeria is quickly becoming a truly mobile society and the market is hungry for innovative services that will entertain, educate and improve the everyday lives of users.

As the market remains dominated by feature phones (there are only 4 million smartphones and +2 million BlackBerry devices in use, though Android is on the accelerated rise driven by affordable phones from China), there is a huge need for quality content & value added services (VAS) in SMS, like entertainment, m-health and m-learning. The VAS market is valued at $1 billion and consists mostly of rudimentary services, but this is expected to increase tenfold in the next two years, driven by modern VAS.

NTH Mobile has recognized the potential of Nigeria and has been present on the market for more than 6 years. We have seen great growth during those years and helped international clients bring their products to the market.

If you have a great product and want to launch it in Nigeria, get in touch with us.