The first GSM service was rolled out in Nigeria in August 2001. A little under two decades later, the number of SIMs issued by network operators has grown so much so that it’s almost impossible to associate numbering schemes to their respective operators. Back then it was quite easy to know which number prefix belonged to which network. For instance, any number starting with 0803 belonged to MTN, 0805 Glo, 0802 Airtel, and so on. But due to the explosion of mobile telephony across the country, it’s almost become a chore to know which numbers are associated with each network.
The Nigerian Communications Commission is responsible for the development of the National Numbering Plan. It publishes a list of the numbering schemes on its website and makes it available to the public. You can find the exhaustive list containing all the operators in Nigeria here. The list contains other operators like Smile, Visafone etc.
The table below shows the phone number prefixes for some of the major Telco operators in Nigeria:
Even though people are now being able to port their numbers from one operator to another using Mobile Number Portability, the number of ported numbers aren’t too many. It’s safe to say the overwhelming majority of numbers still belong to the telcos that originally issued them.
You can also discover other useful statistics on mobile number allocation and management from the NCC website.
Feature image source: Hot Vibes Media