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What We’re Up To In Nigeria
22 January 2021

What We’re Up To In Nigeria

22 January 2021

As a global connectivity service provider, Africa is a key focus for Telecom26 and we use our network to provide connectivity across the continent with customers and partners in almost every country.

We have previously looked at how our IoT global SIM cards are helping with the rollout of digital healthcare programmes in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Ghana, Malawi and Tanzania.

This week we take a look at Nigeria, another country in Africa where Telecom26 has a strong presence and is providing IoT connectivity to Healthcare programmes being rolled out by Big Pharma customers, Healthcare diagnostic partners and NGOs, including SystemOne.

About Nigeria

The country in Africa most likely to bring a smile and an exasperated shake of the head from residents, its vast diaspora and foreigners.  Frustrating. Inspiring. A place to get your hustle on! Where the informal economy is vibrant and creative and, for many people, the only way to earn a living.

Nigeria is Africa's most populous country with 201 million citizens.  It’s the 31st largest country in the world sandwiched between Tanzania at 30 and Venezula at 32

Last year Bloomberg reported that Nigeria’s economy overtook South Africa’s to become the largest in Africa standing at $476 billion or $402 billion, depending on the rate used.  The African Development Bank reports good and bad news:  Poverty remains widespread reflecting rising unemployment with low skills limiting opportunities for employment in the formal economy. However, “Nigeria has many opportunities to transform its economy”.

So it was good to read last week that the Nigerian Government has launched a scheme to provide jobs for more than 750,000 young people amid worsening youth unemployment.

The Telecom Market in Nigeria

According to the analysts at BuddeComm, Nigeria has Africa’s largest mobile market, with about 173 million subscribers and a penetration rate of 123%.

Budde reports that “The Government has updated its broadband ambitions aiming to increase penetration from 30% by 2020 to 70% by the end of 2021 with most connections via mobile networks.  Foreign investment is coming into the sector particularly from China while Government infrastructure programs are also stimulating investment including US$328 million set aside to complete a national backbone project”.

Last year’s report from the GSMA The State of Mobile Internet Connectivity 2020

Is well worth a read. It comments that Nigeria shows how a country can create a virtuous circle of achieving more coverage and at the same time offering more affordable devices and mobile plans that in turn enable operators to roll out more coverage, as usage increases. This has also been shown to have wider economic and social implications”.

Nigeria and COVID

Like much of Africa, cases of coronavirus in Nigeria have been relatively low. Between January and November 2020, 64,184 confirmed cases and 1,158 deaths were recorded.

Of course, the country has been waging much longer battles against more lethal infectious diseases with HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and Diarrheal diseases in the top 10 causes of death as well as Yellow Fever according to this piece Spike in yellow fever deaths prompts Nigeria to revive vaccination campaigns

Several of Telecom26’s customers in Africa have rolled out TB, HIV, Ebola - and now COVID-19 - testing programmes across Nigeria.

Key to the success of the testing programmes is reliable connectivity; speed of diagnosis and treatment is often the difference between life and death.

The traditional route is to buy local SIMs to provide device connectivity. Unfortunately, this limits users to one MNO - and adds juggling multiple SIMs across devices to find the strongest local network to a long list of headaches, especially in country border areas.

Telecom26’s IoT global SIM cards and our IoT connectivity solutions were developed with the specific goal of improving connectivity in remote areas where coverage can be patchy. Our IoT global SIM cards enable devices to automatically access and switch between multiple networks both in-country and across borders thus removing the need to worry about the coverage of a single MNO, or the existence of roaming alliances. Multiple-IMSI profiles are pre-loaded on every SIM allowing for simple remote reconfiguration if the primary network has poor or no service. 

If you have any questions about telecoms in Nigeria, or need help with connectivity - including IoT Connectivity -  there, or in any other country in Africa or around the world then please Get In Touch.

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