Telecom giants in Nigeria

Telecom giants in Nigeria

Recharge & Get Paid: Telecom giants in Nigeria

Telecommunication is vital today more than ever, especially with the rise of smartphones and advanced gadgetsl. Nowadays, people exchange information every single day through different kinds of tech such as radio, television, phones and many more.

Here at Recharge & Get Paid, we recognize the importance and impact of telecoms on our citizens here in Nigeria. This industry helps make people’s lives way easier and it wouldn’t be possible without the big-name companies that provide these services.

To help you get familiarized with the different telecom giants, we’ve listed down the big names in Nigeria. These companies are responsible for the convenient communication that you experience every day and they’ll continue to do so for the future years to come. So without further ado, here are some of the telecom giants in Nigeria:


Aside from providing some of the most premium and advanced smartphones, Huawei is also known as one of the biggest telecoms in the industry. Founded on September 15, 1987, Huawei originally got its start as a telecoms company and it wasn’t until July of 2003 when they released their first handset in the form of the C300.

The company was founded by an entrepreneur by the name of Ren Zhengfei in China. Zhengfei took advantage of the telecom infrastructure sector which was newly opened to foreign competition at that time.

However, before he could build what would eventually become the giant company that people know and love, Zhengfei would first lose his job. He was a Major in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) where he would also lend his time and skills as a civil engineer responsible for building bridges and factories.

Come 1987 at the age of 44, Zhengei, who at this point experienced a lot of failures with his ventures, decided to try his hand in the telecoms industry once more and thus Huawei was born. This startup is more impressive considering that he only had the accumulated investment of his colleagues as his working capital which was only around €4,000.

It wasn’t so much of a smooth transition, however, as Huawei found itself in the middle of intense competition between over 400 telecom companies. All of these manufacturers were working their way to reign supreme over the big cities of China such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Given how Huawei has only started, they didn’t stand much of a chance against their competitors.

This caused Zhenhei to shift directions and decided to focus their target on the lesser-known city of Shenzen where they eventually built their headquarters. Moreover, they also changed their target audience to the remote and regional areas of China to which they found success.

In 2000, Huawei finally went global and as expected, it also didn’t have the smooth transition that the company hoped to have. This was because of the already established tech companies that were ruling over the market leaving little to no room for an up and coming company like Huawei.

The company got its big break when the dot-com bubble was starting to blow up and by this time, they’ve already focused on developing 3g technology which gave them a head-start. This allowed Huawei to catch up to its competitors and by the time 4g were starting to blow up, the telecom giant was already considered a global leader.

During this time, they were already being used in 170 different countries and more than a third of the world’s population have started using Huawei in their everyday lives. 

Fast forward to today, Huawei is now one of the biggest companies not just in telecoms but as manufacturers of smart devices as well. This is thanks to their vision of creating better technology for people around the world which is evident with every product that they put out. From smartphones to routers, monitors and more, it’s no secret that Huawei has been at the top of its game for several years and will continue to do so as well.


When it comes to telecoms, Nokia is one of the pioneers of this industry. From the late 19th century up to today, the company has been active and they’ve never failed in providing world-class telecom products and services. From the earliest form of cellphones to telephones and many more, Nokia has always delivered when it comes to their products.

Nokia’s history can be traced back to as early as 1865 back when their company was a single paper mill corporation primarily focused on industrial sectors. Back in the day, the products that Nokia used to produce were almost everywhere. This included mobile phones, rubber boots, paper products, cables and more.

It wasn’t until the 1990s that they put all their focus and investment into telecommunications. One of the first and biggest achievements of Nokia when they first made this transition was that their tech was used to make the world’s first GSM call. A GSM call is when a phone converts analogue speeches into digital data and although this doesn’t sound that impressive nowadays, it’s incredible to think that Nokia was the first to do it.

This transition over to telecoms was proven to be successful as only a few years later, they’ve become the best-selling mobile phone company in the entire world. They’ve beaten their other competitors at that time by a mile and they would continue to do so over the coming years.

The success continued over into the early to mid-2000s and another revolutionary product that they introduced during this time was the first-ever camera phone. It was unveiled in 2003 and was called the Nokia 7650. This invention would then be adopted by several other brands and to this day it’s still being used to the point where the phone wouldn’t feel complete without it.

With over 155 years under its belt, Nokia will continue to be a huge part of the telecom industry for many more years to come. 

Airtel Nigeria

As for Nigeria-specific companies, one of the leading telecom giants in this country is without a doubt Airtel Nigeria. This is proven by the millions of subscribers that are recorded every year not only in Nigeria but in the entirety of Africa as well. In 2019, they’ve released their data to the public which reveals that their subscriber count has reached a whopping amount of over 48 million.

One of the biggest reasons why Airtel Nigeria has reached the success that it has now is because it’s one of the pioneers of telecom in Africa. The company was founded in 2001 under the name Econet Nigeria and in the same year made history by providing Africa with its first GSM services.

One of the reasons why the citizens of Nigeria gravitate towards Airtel so much is its wide variety of products. These products were made with the consumer’s thought process in mind which is why all of them are made to make the lives of their customers easier.

According to their website, Airtel Nigeria’s goal is to provide cheap and innovative mobile services to their customers which they’ve proven ever since the company was founded in 2001. The company is also one of the pioneers of introducing 3g, 4g as well as 5g to Africa and with exclusive lifestyle benefits, it’s no surprise that the company has amassed millions of subscribers.

Throughout the years, Airtel Nigeria has garnered several key milestones that helped cement its status as one of the best telecom companies in the industry. This includes:

  • Awarded Digital Mobile License (DML) for communication services in Nigeria in 2001 
  • Awarded GSM Company of the Year in 2005
  • Awarded Brand of the Year and Good Governance Awards in 2008
  • Awarded Best Customer Care Award in 2009
  • Branded as Telecoms Brand of the Year in 2015.


The Swedish telecom company, Ericsson-Worldwide is also one of the leading providers not only in Nigeria but also in the entirety of Africa. Similar to Nokia, this company is also one of the firsts to introduce 3g and 4g connections and today, they’re one of the leading providers of 5g tech. The company lives by the mantra of ‘limitless connectivity means limitless possibilities’ and they’ve certainly proved that with their introduction of various telecom products.

Ericsson-Worldwide’s humble beginnings can be traced back to as early as 1876 when it was founded by Lars Magnus Ericsson. It was originally designed to be a workshop that fixes the old telegraph instruments that were used back in the day.

A year later after its launch, Ericsson introduced their first phone which was an instant hit in different countries around the world. The unique design that this wall-mounted phone was dubbed as the Swedish pattern and it would go on to be adopted for many years.

Today, Ericsson is one of the leading companies that aim to connect the entire world through telecoms. Their proposed ideas and ICT solutions continue to impress and strengthen their goals.

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