Encyclopedia of Nigeria’s telecoms industry

CDMA Networks

In November 1997 Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) telephone device had become operational in Nigeria. CDMA operators focused on fixed wired access (landlines) and the fixed wireless access (mobile) with limited mobility access.

Multilinks was the pioneer CDMA operator, kicking off services in 1998, years before GSM technology was introduced. Other CDMA networks that existed at various points in time in Nigeria included:

  • VGC Communications
  • Intercellular
  • Mobitel
  • EMIS
  • MTS 1st Wireless
  • ZOOM (formerly Reltel)
  • Starcomms
  • Independent Telephone Network (ITN)
  • Bourdex Telecoms
  • Cell Communications Limited (Cellcom)
  • Visafone

Withe the advent of GSM networks, CDMA operators began to struggle. by 2010, the majority of CDMA operators were dead. CDMA networks effectively ceased to exist in Nigeria when MTN acquired Visafone, the last CDMA network standing, in January 2016.

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