Airtel Nigeria History and CEO Update in Nigeria

Airtel Nigeria

Airtel Nigeria, officially known as Airtel Networks Limited, is the Nigerian subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, one of the largest telecommunications companies in India and a prominent global player in the telecom industry. Airtel Nigeria is one of the leading mobile network operators in Nigeria and plays a significant role in the country’s telecommunications sector.

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Airtel made waves in Nigeria’s telecommunications landscape, etching its name in history as the trailblazer that introduced commercial GSM services. Imagine, they weren’t just content with a singular achievement—they took it a step further by being the inaugural company to roll out services across all six of Nigeria’s geopolitical zones, connecting the nation in a way no one had done before.

But it didn’t stop there. Airtel, with its commitment to accessibility, became the first to offer recharge denominations that didn’t burn a hole in your pocket. Picture the delight of users as they could affordably stay connected in a way that was unprecedented.

And then came the innovations that truly set Airtel apart. Who could forget the excitement of receiving that monthly free SMS service? Airtel understood the importance of staying connected with loved ones and friends, going beyond just calls.

But the cherry on top was the monthly airtime bonus, a gesture that went beyond business to say, “We appreciate you.” Airtel wasn’t just providing services; it was fostering a community, making communication not just a necessity but a joyful experience.

In a world of firsts, Airtel became more than a telecommunications company; it became a pioneer that changed the way Nigerians connected, communicated, and celebrated the joy of staying in touch.

Official Website
Founded5th of August, 2001 as Econet. Airtel Nigeria bought the company in 2010. The company has passed through different management since its establishment in 2001.
FounderSunil Bharti Mittal
Country of OriginIndia
key facts About Airtel Nigeria

Airtel Networks Limited (History)

Airtel as the parent company was founded in 1995 by Sunil Bharti Mittal and started as a small company in India. It was one of the first companies to bring mobile telephony services to India, revolutionizing the telecom industry in the country.

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As time goes on, Bharti Airtel expanded its operations to numerous countries in Asia and Africa including countries such as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Kenya, and Nigeria. In some of these countries, Airtel is known by different brand names.

Talking about the Nigerian historic part,

Airtel Nigeria was established in 2001 as Econet and was awarded a Digital Mobile License (DML) for communication services in Nigeria. Management changed hands in 2004 as Vodacom took over the company. Later that year, Vee Networks took over the company, which became known as Vmobile. Celtel purchased Vmobile in May 2006. Zain Group also paid more than $3 billion for all of Celtel International’s shares in 2008. As a result, Celtel Africa’s operations were rebranded from Celtel to Zain.

In 2010, Bharti Airtel completed a $10.7 billion acquisition of Zain Africa\’s operations, including Nigeria, and rebranded the company as Airtel Nigeria.

Airtel Nigeria came into the business in 2010. However, the company was originally launched as Econet in 2001 which Airtel later bought and manage till date.

Airtel Nigeria CEO

Airtel Africa has appointed Mr Carl Cruz as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Nigeria.

This is contained in a statement by the company’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Segun Ogunsanya.

However, the appointment would take effect from May 5, 2023 of which he is to take over from Mr chemmenkotil surendran.

Market Cap

Airtel Nigeria is one of the major players in the Nigerian telecom market and competes with other telecom operators like MTN Nigeria, Glo Mobile, and 9mobile. The Nigerian telecom industry is highly competitive, with multiple operators vying for market share.

According to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Subscribers Statistics released on May 2022, Airtel Nigeria has a 28.22% mobile telephone market share and 57.6 million subscribers. The company is a subsidiary of Airtel Africa, the holding company for Bharti Airtel’s operations in 14 African countries.

Investment and Deals

Airtel Nigeria has invested significantly in expanding and upgrading its network infrastructure across the country. This includes the deployment of 4G LTE services and 5G infrastructures to provide faster and more reliable data connectivity to its customers.

Airtel Nigeria has also ventured into the digital services space by offering various applications and services. Airtel Money, Airtel Payments Bank, and the Airtel Xstream platform are examples of their digital offerings, providing customers with options for mobile payments, banking, and entertainment.

Airtel Nigeria is actively involved in corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Nigeria. These initiatives focus on education, healthcare, youth empowerment, and community development. They have implemented programs aimed at making a positive impact on Nigerian society.

Airtel is Gradually Improving

Airtel is a genuinely innovative company that has demonstrated resilience while forging ahead to meet the demands and needs of its esteemed stakeholders, improve distribution, and offer citizens of Nigeria access to services at competitive prices. In Nigeria, Airtel is putting in a lot of effort to fulfill an ambitious vision of becoming the most adored brand in Nigerians’ daily lives. Airtel provides a superior brand experience and a variety of cutting-edge goods and services, including mobile broadband, inventive data packages, and exciting voice solutions.


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