Writer and Social entrepreneur.

It us no more hidden news that the 9mobile telecommunications network, formerly Etisalat is on the market for sale. Well, as you would expect, there are also bidders for the company. Some of these are existing telecoys who want to leverage 9mobile’s user base to improve their own, while other are new companies just testing out the business waters of telecommunications in Nigeria.

Initially, there were 16 bidders who tendered expression of interest in acquiring 9mobile, 10 of them made it through the first stage of screening and presently, there are only 5 bidders left. In some weeks to come, just one out of the 5 bidders left will be the buyer of 9mobile. We’re waiting for who this would be.

Here are the 5 Bidders of 9Mobile Left

1. Airtel
2. Globacom
3. Smile
4. Helios
5. Teleology Holdings Limited

Amongst these 5 bidders of 9mobile which are all now qualified for the next stage in which only one of them will emerge winner. 9mobile has been standing on one. The company, formerly Etisalat Nigeria , was put on the sales block early this year after it defaulted on a $1.2 billion loan from a consortium of 13 Nigerian banks. Etisalat Group the mother company in Abu Dhabi backed out leaving its Nigeria arm of business to face the challenges all by itself. This was when the couch decided to survive on a new name.

According to a post on Reuters, “Since the debt issue, 9mobile, the country’s fourth biggest operator, has lost subscribers. In October its total number of users had fallen to 17.1 million, giving it a 12.2 percent market share, from 20 million subscribers with a 14 percent share earlier this year.”

While we do not know who would complete the purchase of the coy over the others, we do know that if it is acquired by another Telecom company in Nigeria – Airtel or Globacom – they are very likely to challenge the MTN status as number one in the subscriber base in the country. The companies must surely be looking forward to this.

On another hand, if 9mobile is bought by a non Telecom company, the subscriber base remains the same. However, there would be a sort of pressure or dependence on the company to improve the customer base, or at least, don’t lose them. What more can we say at this point than to wait for everything to unfold.