Nigeria is set to take over from South Africa as the largest mobile phone market in Africa by the end of 2007.

This information was disclosed by Informa Telecoms & Media's World Cellular Information Service (WCIS),a searchable on-line database providing a constantly updated and accurate source of research data on the wireless industry worldwide. .According to the information service, Mobile subscriptions in Nigeria will exceed 30 million at the end of 2006 and 35 million in South Africa. Informa also forecasts 44 million users in Nigeria and 40 million in South Africa at the end of 2007. Nigeria according to the statistics released will then account for 19% of Africa's total mobile users up from 14% at the end of 2006. Nigeria is also expected to add 13 million subscriptions over the year 2006, an increase of 44% compared to the net additions recorded over 2005.

According to Devine Kofiloto, Principal Analyst at Informa Telecom's and Media, "With an estimated 130 million inhabitants, Nigeria is Africa's most populated country. Despite a high yearly growth (181% over 2004 and 96% over 2005), the country's penetration rate was still at 19% in September 2006 compared to 77% in South Africa at the same period. Nigeria is also a very competitive market with 4 GSM players and 5 CDMA networks actively involved in the mobile field".

As of September 2006, Nigeria counted 25 million mobile users. MTN lead the market as it held a 41% share. Globacom and Celtel controlled respectively 29% and 24% of the market, while M-Tel was at 4% and CDMA networks represented 2% of all the mobile users in Nigeria.

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