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Niger

Basics Edit

Niger is one of the largest countries in West Africa, but also one of the poorest countries of the world. Similar to many African countries, a lack of fixed telecoms infrastructure has led to growth in mobile services. Niger’s mobile penetration sits at over 40% in 2017, while fixed broadband, in comparison has a long way to go with only around 2%.

However recent investments in improving fibre-optic infrastructure in Niger will lead to improved internet networks and access. Specifically, in 2016 Niger received a boost when the African Development Bank (ADB) awarded € 43.9 mio. in funding to build-out the Trans-Saharan Dorsal optical fibre (SDR) network to which Niger is linked.

Operators Edit

There are 4 mobile operators in Niger:

  • Airtel Niger (by Indian Bharti Airtel)
  • Orange Niger (by France Telecom)
  • Moov Niger (by Maroc Telecom)
  • Sahelcom (by Niger Telecoms)

In 2016 the Niger government merged state-owned fixed line operator, Sonitel with its wholly owned mobile unit Sahelcom to form a new entity known as Niger Telecom. The merged company hopes to be more efficient through the sharing of resources and infrastructure. It's also hoped that Niger Telecom will be able to operate more competitively as its mobile unit currently holds less than 5% market share.

2G/GSM is mainly on 900 MHz and rarely on 1800 MHz in towns, 3G is on 2100 MHz in limited areas. There is no 4G/LTE yet.

Quality of service Edit

The poor quality of service remains a major obstacle in the country.

The government of Niger has voted to abolish the country’s tax on incoming international traffic in 2017. In return for scrapping the tax, which contributes around XOF20 billion (US$ 36.2 million) to the state treasury annually, the nation’s telecoms operators have committed to make significant investments in improving coverage and service quality.

Later in 2017 Niger’s telecoms regulator, the Autorite de Regulation des Telecommunications et de la Poste (ARTP), has fined the West African country’s four mobile network operators a combined XOF3.5 billion (US$ 6.3 million) for failing to improve their network coverage and quality of service (QoS) indicators.

In 2018 the government of Niger is proposing to reintroduce the tax on international calls in 2019. The government is seeking to restore the tax, after accusing telecom companies of failing to honour commitments to improve services.

Registration Edit

SIM cards need to be properly registered by showing an ID document. The best place is to do it in a boutique of the provider. You can buy SIM cards on the street too, but you'll risk being deactivated.

Following the conclusion of its SIM registration campaign, Niger’s telecoms watchdog ARTP deactivated around a third of all mobile lines in a bid to curb criminal activity in 2013.

Airtel Niger Edit

Airtel

With a market share of 47% at the end of 2017, Airtel is Niger’s largest wireless operator by subscribers. It was formerly called Celtel and Zain. It's now owned by Indian Bharti Airtel. It's payment system is called Airtel Money.

Airtel Niger's 2G/3G network covers 18,000 villages in 264 communes out of the total 266 across the country in 2018: coverage list. In May 2018 Airtel Niger has secured the country’s first 4G/LTE mobile licence, but hasn't started yet.

Availability Edit

Their SIM card is sold for 1000 CFA with 200 CFA credit in their boutiques (list) and other agencies.

Top-ups are available on the streets. You can extrend the livespan of your SIM card. For this you need to text <phone number>blank<number of months to add> to 900. Each additional month is for 250 CFA up to 12 months.

Data feature packages Edit

These Forfaits Internet are sold for data:

Data Time Price
35 MB 24 hours 150 CFA
125 MB 300 CFA
350 MB 500 CFA
1 GB 1000 CFA
250 MB 7 days 500 CFA
750 MB 1000 CFA
2 GB 2000 CFA
1 GB 30 days 2000 CFA
4 GB 5000 CFA
10 GB 10,000 CFA
20 GB 20,000 CFA
200 MB midnight

- 5am

250 CFA
  • Pass Nuit/Jour: 150 MB for daytime, 350 MB for nighttime, all for 7 days/nights: 499 CFA, activation: text '499' to 612.

For activation type *612#.

More info Edit

Orange Niger Edit

Orange UK

The most recent company to join the mobile market Orange Niger has become the second-largest operator with a mobile market share of 29%. As the first operator to have launched a 3G network in 2011, Orange Niger is leading the broadband mobile internet market. Their payment system is called Orange Money.

Availability Edit

The SIM card is sold for 300 CFA in their boutiques (list) and other agencies. It comes with 250 CFA credit pre-loaded.

You can top-up everywhere on the streets with 500, 1000, 2000, 4000 or 10000 CFA. Every top-up is valid for 90 days.

Data feature packages Edit

These Pass Internet Sawki are sold:

Data Time Price Activation
20 MB 24 hours 100 CFA 1J1
100 MB 200 CFA 1J2
350 MB 500 CFA 1J3
250 MB 7 days 500 CFA 1S1
500 MB 1000 CFA 1S2
2 GB 2000 CFA 1S3
1 GB 30 days 2000 CFA 1M4
4 GB 5000 CFA 1M1
10 GB 10,000 CFA 1M2
20 GB 20,000 CFA 1M3
50 GB 180 days 60,000 CFA 6M
1 GB midnight

- 6am

500 CFA PN
  • Pass Nuit/Jour: 100 MB for daytime, 900 MB for nighttime, all for 7 days/nights: 500 CFA, activation: SJN

For activation text code to 2525.

More info Edit

Moov Niger Edit

Moov-CI

Moov is the 3rd player in Niger with only 10% of all subscribers on the market. In 2014 it was bought by Maroc Telecom from Etisalat. They clain to have 2G and 3G coverage in many towns and villages: coverage map. Their payment system is called Flooz.

Availability Edit

Their SIM card is the cheapest on the market for 200 CFA with 100 CFA credit available at their salespoints (list).

Top-ups can be found all over. Check balance by *100#.

Data feature packages Edit

Data Time Price Activation
25 MB 24 hours 100 CFA J1
75 MB 200 CFA J2
400 MB 500 CFA J3
300 MB 7 days 500 CFA S1
800 MB 1000 CFA S2
2 GB 2000 CFA S3
1 GB 30 days 2000 CFA M1
4 GB 5000 CFA M2
10 GB 10,000 CFA M3
20 GB 20,000 CFA M4
200 MB midnight

- 6am

200 CFA NUIT1
1 GB 500 CFA NUIT2

For activation type code to 666.

More info Edit

SahelCom (by Niger Telecoms) Edit

Sahelcomlogo

State-owned fixed and mobile provider Niger Telecoms has officially launched commercial operations, including 3G mobile voice and data services in 2017. The government of Niger approved plans to merge state-owned fixed line operator Sonitel and its mobile unit SahelCom into a single entity, and Niger Telecoms was formally established in December 2016.

Niger Telecoms says its 3G network is available in parts of all regions, but this is very questionable as it's network is mostly based on 2G. SahelCom only accounts for less than 5% of all mobile users and is not recommended for travellers so far.