Nigeria Mobile Billing and Messaging Overview


Billing Type: MO&MT   MT billing requires dedicated code and approval.

Subscriptions: Yes   Only available on MTN & Airtel, the service is controlled by the network. MT billing requires dedicated code and approval.

Micropayments: Yes

Shared Price Points: 30.00 NGN, 50.00 NGN, 100.00 NGN

Dedicated Price Points: 10.00 NGN, 20.00 NGN, 30.00 NGN, 50.00 NGN, 75.00 NGN, 100.00 NGN   Zero payout on 20 NGN

Regulator: The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)

Approvals/Fees Required: Yes   Complete Product Document and SMS Promotional Finance forms before going live.

Country Info

Population: 185,989,640

Subscribers: 104,684,200

Mobile Penetration Rate: 14.8%

VAT Rate: 19%

Withholding Tax: N/A

Network Information:

Carriers: Subscribers: Market Share:
MTN 62,500,000 41.81%
Glo Mobile 31,300,000 21.38%
Airtel / Zain 31,100,000 19.73%
Etisalat 23,500,000 13.74%
Visafone 2,030,000 2.12%
Starcomms 518,400 0.50%
Multilinks Telkom 10,000 0.36%
M-Tel 258,500 0.25%
Zoom 111,000 0.11%


Regulation Overview

Regulator: The Nigerian Communications Commission

Regulator Website:

Code of Conduct: Guidelines on Short Code Operations in Nigeria

Opt-in Possibilities

Web (PIN) Opt-in: Yes   It is possible. Approval on request.

WORAR (Requiring a Reply): Yes

Single MO Shortcode Opt-in: Yes

In-app Billing: Yes

Multi-billing - Are you able to send multiple MOs?: Yes

Multi-billing - Are you able to send multiple MTs?: No

Permitted Content

General Content Restrictions: There are no political / government related campaigns.

Where the types of services contemplated by the service providers require authorization from other government agencies; such authorization shall first be obtained.

Note all Islamic Services that promote or contain religious content needs to be first approved by the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs of Nigeria (SCIAN), however for Christian Services that promote or contain religious content this isn't a requirement.

Specific rules from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in relation to marketing messages -which must be followed.

BulkSMS promotion is forbidden on Airtel network.
BulkSMS promotion is only allowed between the hours of 8am and 8pm on other networks.
BulkSMS must not promote any services that are classified as lottery/promos where users are in for a chance to win.

Adult Permissible: No

Mobile Gambling /mCasino (Real money): Yes   Lottery License required.

Sportsbook (Real money): No

Virtual Gambling (Virtual credit): Yes

Lottery (Real money): No

Competitions: Yes   No games of chance or random draw, if a prize is to be won, it may require a lottery license. Approval required.

Voting: Yes   Non-political

Chat: Yes   Sessions allowed, apart from 100 NGN.

Mobile Content: Yes

Info Messages: Yes

Alerts: Yes

Physical Goods: No

Calling Services: No

Charitable Services: Yes   Need permission from NCC.

Spend Limits

Maximum Transactional Value: 100.00 NGN

Subscriptions Limit: 100.00 NGN

Customer Care

Minimum Type Required: E-Mail (24hr Response)

Miscellaneous Items

Mandatory Keywords: STOP, HELP


Available Technologies

Premium MO SMS: Yes

Premium MT SMS: Yes   MT billing requires dedicated code and approval.

WAP Billing: No

Direct Operator Billing: Yes

MSISDN Forwarding: No

IVR Billing: Yes

Number Lookup (HLR): Yes

Number Lookup (VLR) /(RTLU): Yes

VSIM/Longcode: Yes

Bulk SMS: Yes

Push Messaging: Yes

USSD Messaging: Yes   Airtel, Etisalat

USSD Menus (Sessions): Yes   Airtel, Etisalat


FreeText Shortcodes: Yes   On application

Golden/Vanity Numbers Available?: No

Direct Carrier Billing

DCB Type: Limited DCB   Approval required.

MO required?: Yes

Bulk Messaging

Alpha sender ID: Yes   Excludes Etisalat.

Numeric sender ID: Yes

Alpha numeric sender ID: Yes   Excludes Etisalat for Alpha.

Shortcode sender ID: Yes   Excludes Airtel & Glo Mobile.

Sender IDs filtered: No

Handset Delivery reports: Yes

SMSC Delivery report: No

Binary: Yes

Concatenated Messages: Yes

Character Encoding: Yes   Full SMPP v3.4

Character Sets Supported: Yes   0×00(Default GSM encoding), 0×01(US-ASCII), 0×02(Binary), 0×03(ISO8859-1-Latin-1), 0×04(Binary), 0×08(UCS2/UTF-16BE)

Submit_multi: Yes

Maximum validity periods: 48 hours   Which is the recommended value.

Traffic type exclusions?: No exclusions other than no illegal services or content.