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Over the years, Nigeria has become one of the largest telecoms markets in Africa with more than 192 million active telecoms users. Nigeria has four main mobile operators: MTN, 9mobile, Airtel, and Globacom. A large number of Nigerians access the internet with their mobile phones which has helped to improve the revenue gotten by these mobile operators.

MTN controls the largest share of the mobile market with over 39.5% market share followed by Globacom with 27.7%, Airtel 26.3%, and 9mobile with 6.5%.

Here is a review of the top mobile operators based on market share and market penetration.

Comparison of data bundles and call plans


MTN is Nigeria’s premier provider of connectivity, communication, and business collaboration solutions. It is the largest privately owned mobile operator in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. The company has continued to be the leading mobile operator in Nigeria with over 62,843,182 customers and a 39.5% market share.

Mtn offers many options for data plans and they go for as low as N50 for 40MB for daily plans and as high as N450,000 for 4.5TB for yearly plans.

MTN also has various bundles for social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Opera, and WhatsApp; and they go for as low as N25 for 20MB.

MTN voice call plans vary as low as 11.26K/Second for MTN Trutalk and 36.00K/Second for MTN YAFUN YAFUN.


Glo Mobile (by Globacom) is a multinational telecommunications company founded on 29 August 2003 by Mike Adenuga. It is the first single company to build a high-capacity submarine fibre-optic cable, popularly known as Glo-1. Glo has a market share of 27.7% with over 39 million customers.


Data plans here range from N50/50MB for daily plans to 100,000/ 1 TB (1 year). There are also packages for social media platforms like Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, Tiktok, Telegram, and Youtube that go for 25/100MB (1 day).

Glo offers different plans for voice calls as low as 11k/sec. Some of the plans offer 7 times the value of every recharge. For example, a recharge of N100 gives you a N700 bonus where N400 is for voice calls to any network and N300 is for data.


Airtel Networks Limited is a leading telecommunications services provider with headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria. The telco ranks amongst the top three mobile service providers in terms of subscribers with a customer base of more than 39 million users and a 26.3% market share. The company’s product offerings include 2G, 3G, and 4G wireless services, mobile commerce, home broadband, and enterprise services.

Airtel voice calls range from as low as 11.00K/Second  SMART PREMIER to 50K/Second SMART CONNECT (Comes only with new SIMs).

Airtel offers low-cost data plans N50/40MB (1 day). Monthly plans come with a YouTube package for example N1,000/1.5GB comes with 2GB YouTube night streaming (30 days). Airtel also offers social bundles for social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, opera.


9mobile is a Nigerian telecommunications services provider with over 6 million users and a 6.5% market share. 9mobile has taken a leading role in the market for exceptional Customer Experience, Quality of Service, and Innovation. At 9mobile, Innovation is not just a buzzword, it is about how the company brings meaning into people’s lives, relentlessly pushing the frontiers to find new ways to solve everyday challenges.

Voice call rates go for as low as 11k/Second and as high as 40k/Second. SMS go from as low as N4 to as high as N25/SMS.

Data plans here go for N50/25MB (1 day) up to N100,000/365GB (365 days). Social media bundles are also available for as low as N50 for WeChat, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter.

What users think

Users’ experiences with the different network operators vary based on geographical location and type of gadget. MTN is the best network as it has a wider coverage and is easily accessible in urban and most rural areas.

Airtel is another good network provider. Although the telco company does not have the same coverage extent as MTN, its data plans and call tariffs are very affordable.

Glo offers cheap and affordable data plans and bonuses on calls.

9mobile’s data plans are more expensive than the other network operators and the network has comparatively lower coverage than the others.

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