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Toast to 20 years of mobile telecoms excellence


Mobile Telecom

When the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) licensed the first two Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) 20 years ago, no one envisaged how revolutionary that decision would be. Two decades after that strategic action, Nigeria continues to reap the benefits.

The Global System for Mobile (GSM) telecommunication technology has become an essential tool for economic, political, and social interactions among different professions, classes, and statuses. It has also helped bridge the communication gap between urban and rural dwellers, create jobs, and enabled faster business transactions through the Internet.


There has also been significant growth in innovations, with technology hubs springing up in major city centres across the country. Commendably, the ICT sector contributed 12.45 per cent of the country’s GDP as of Q4 of 2020.

Even though Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Limited (EMTS), trading as 9mobile, were not on the scene when GSM launched in 2001, only commencing operation in 2008, we have emerged as an essential player in the sector. Since then, we have been redefining the industry as an innovative solutions provider and enabling Nigerians to do more. 

Our debut was ground-breaking with the unique ‘0809uchoose’ offer that allowed Nigerians to choose their preferred unique mobile phone numbers. Through an array of ingenious solutions and platforms, we have been at the forefront of empowering and supporting customers’ lifestyles and businesses via technology. We have consistently launched innovative solutions that help individuals, businesses, and communities.


The transition to our current brand identity, 9mobile, in July 2017 reflects the dynamic, resilient, bold, and creative attributes we share with Nigerians, particularly the vibrant youth segment and our vision of going beyond a traditional telco services provider into a full-fledged digital services provider remains the same. We continue to offer value-added services and drive national socio-economic development with smarter digital services.  

But then, there is still a lot more to be done. It is not yet Eldorado in the telecoms space, with Nigeria needing to get more people on board. While Nigeria currently has a mobile broadband data penetration rate of around 45 percent, we want to help the country achieve more through major fiber deployments. We already have an operational network consisting of close to 6,000km of fiber, and we are currently focused on massive network modernization, reaching across the country and customer experience.

We are currently transitioning with a lot of transformation on our network to optimize national spread and prioritize excellent customer experience. We are leveraging our BigData platform to improve our customer-centricity via analytics and modernizing our Contact Centre Solution with Avaya One X subscription. We are also creating an omnichannel for customer interactions.


9mobile is massively deploying 4G LTE to more Nigerian cities to sustain superior quality services, including making clear and crisp calls and having access to faster Internet browsing and online experience while waiting for the launch of 5G! We are excited by the possibilities that 5G offers!

We are pretty excited about evolving from 4G to 5G as data is part of our life now, and we almost cannot do without it. We are happy to inspire and support new business opportunities in Nigeria today because our customers can access superfast data on our network.


Taking key learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic and the attendant restrictions, it is clear that Nigerians need reliable quality data connectivity to work and socialize remotely. Though the pandemic was unforeseen, we were prepared at 9mobile. We launched the new digital platform, ‘ig9ite’, which gives customers access to network subscription services and a whole new world of digital lifestyle services during the lockdown. Therefore, our customers could access our digital channels to buy products and top up their lines.

As the country marks the 20th anniversary of the GSM revolution, Nigerians can rest assured that they will continue to get only the best from 9mobile.

Jimo is Chief Information Officer, 9mobile.


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