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Chapter one


Telecommunications arrived in Nigeria almost a century ago. At the time of independence in 1960, the country only had about 18, 724 phone lines for a population of around 40 million. Since then, several governments have attempted to increase the number of lines in Nigeria.

However, these endeavours failed miserably for a variety of reasons, the most notable of which being the country’s public utility’s monopoly over this sector. Nigerian Telecommunications Plc (NITEL) and its poor, corrupt management.

By the beginning of 1999, there were roughly 500,000 lines available for a population of over 120 million Nigerians.

The current administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo breached the telecommunications barrier by implementing deregulation through privatisation. This was accomplished by auctioning licences for Global System for Mobile (GSM) companies in January 2001 for $286 million each and reserving a licence for NITEL.

However, only two (2) of the three (3) companies at the auction, MTN Communications and ECONET Wireless, were awarded full GSM licences, while the third successful company at the auction, Communication Investment Limited (CIL), was denied a licence due to the growth of the two digital mobile licenced operating companies

ECONET and MTN, which embarked on a vigorous publicity drive to capture the country’s large market. Thus, the recent announcement by ECONET and MTN of plans to begin operations on August 7th and 8th came as much-anticipated news for many Nigerians.

The path to success in Nigeria’s telecommunications milleu has been long and winding. The colonial authorities constructed Nigeria’s first telecommunications facilities in 1886.

Between 1960 and 1985, the telecommunications sector consisted of the department of posts, and the telecommunications sector was (grossly underdeveloped) in charge of the internal network company, Nigeria External Telecommunications Limited (NET), which was responsible for external telecommunications services.

NET served as a gateway to the outer world. At the end of 1985, the installed switching capacity was around 200,000 liens, compared to the projected aim of roughly 460,000. All exchanges were analogue.

Telephone penetration remained low, with one telephone line per 440 residents, well below the ITU’s aim of one telephone line per 100 inhabitants for developing nations. The services were mostly disappointing. The phone system was unreliable, congested, expensive, and unpleasant.

As a result of the preceding, in January 1985, the former post and telecommunications (P & T) department was divided into postal and telecommunication divisions. The latter was amalgamated with NET to form Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL), which is a limited liability company.

The primary goal of establishing NITEL was to standardise the planning and coordination of internal and external telecommunications services, rationalise investment in telecommunications development, and provide accessible, efficient, and cost-effective services.

Almost 46 years later, there are approximately one million Nigerian telecommunications lines available to the country’s 120 million citizens.

1.1 Significance of the Research

The significance of this research endeavour is numerous, but I would like to emphasise on the following:

(1) To educate the public about the benefits of global mobile communication.

(2) To broaden people’s understanding of the numerous telecommunications services in the country.

(3) It is also intended to teach corporate bodies the importance of GSM in their operations and businesses.

(4) Its significance for society as a whole.

Aside from the significance of the research, it is also important for a broad awareness of how and in what sectors GSM affects the country’s corporate environment.

Furthermore, it focuses on the establishment of high profitability that comes with GSM communication in Nigeria. Most commercial and other opportunities that arise for organisations are easily tapped into because there is a less expensive and more efficient way to reach and exploit them profitably.

The disadvantages were not overlooked in this effort. pricing imposed by these providers in Nigeria are excessively high in comparison to pricing in other countries where they operate.

Another significant disadvantage of GSM is its limited network coverage in reaching people in outlying areas of the country. Most of these service providers do not reach some portions of the country, preventing their services from being considered totally efficient.

Another significant limitation of this study is the “network failure” syndrome. This is a prevalent problem with PTO customers. There have been multiple reports of network fluctuations on phones because these service providers are so keen on recouping their licence costs that they prioritise capital and profit over users, leaving them at the whim of substandard services.

1.4 Research Objectives

The objectives of this research are solely academic. Nonetheless, the objective extended beyond the academic purpose.

Another goal of this paper is to thoroughly explore the irregularities in the telecommunications market, even with the emergence of PTOs, and to provide a long-term solution that will make GSM communication relevant to the Nigerian corporate world.

The introduction of GSM increased competitiveness in the country’s telecommunications market.

Another important aspect is how the introduction of GSM has increased employment and provided an opportunity for certain people to find their strengths.

It also highlights the fact that before to GSm, service providers provided little or no service in comparison to what we now enjoy. NITEL was the primary provider of telecommunications services in Nigeria; there was no competition, therefore people complained about the service they provided, yet they continued to patronise them.

1.5 Definition of Terms

GSM: Global System for Mobile.

ICT: Information & Communication Technology

NCC:- Nigerian Communication Commission

NET: Nigerian External Telecommunication

CIL: Communication Investment Limited.

ITU:- International Telecommunication Unions

NITEL:- Nigerian telecommunication

IT:- Information technology.

ISP: Internet Service Provider

GMPCS: Global Mobile Personal Communication Service.

FWA: Fixed Wireless Access

PTO: Private Telephone Operator.

SNO: Second National Operator.

FTS: Fixed Telephone Services

LAN:- Local Area Network.

SIM:- Subscriber identifies mobile.

Short Message Service (SMS)

This allows clients to send and receive text messages from their phones. Customers will receive alerts on their handsets indicating that they have received a message.


overseas roaming is undoubtedly the most valuable service feature for overseas mobile telecommunications subscribers. It allows GSM network consumers or subscribers to make calls to and from other countries across scores of GSM networks around the world.

Customers in Nigeria will thus benefit from the numerous roaming agreements already established by the world’s GSM operators. Visitors to Nigeria who have a GSM account set up outside of the nation will be able to use their phones while they are here.


This is the colloquial name for the telephone, or, more specifically, the mobile phone.


These are the actual costs of the calls placed. This just indicates the cost of airtime usage. For example, N50 per airtime minute.


This refers to how many days you can receive unlimited incoming calls.


This refers to the moment when a large number of subscribers access the network. The time period is normally 07:00:00 to 18:59:59.


This refers to the moment when fewer subscribers are using the network. It is the opposite of the peak period. The time range is often 19:00 to 23:59:59, as well as 23:59:59 to 04:00:00.

Pay as you go.

A adaptable cellular package that provides both freedom of choice and freedom of travel. It provides immediate access to the GSM network via an access and airtime card, allowing you to connect fast. It implies you can regulate the expense of your connected calls.

You purchase the number of call credits and mobile call costs. You purchase the number of call credits and access time you require and pay for them in cash before making calls. This manner, you will never be confronted with expenses following your call.

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