Telecom

Airtel Africa Pays N58.7bn for Spectrum License Renewal

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Airtel Africa has announced that its Nigerian subsidiary, Airtel Networks Limited (Airtel Nigeria), paid N58.7 billion to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to renew its 2×10 MHz 2100 MHz spectrum license.

In a statement to the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), signed by Company Secretary Simon O’Hara, once renewed, the license will be valid for 15 years following the expiry of the previous license (31 April 2022).

Part of the statement said: “This investment to renew the license reflects our continued confidence in the opportunity inherent across the Nigerian market, supporting the local communities and economies through furthering digital inclusion and connectivity.”

In January 2023, Airtel Africa announced that its Nigerian subsidiary purchased 100 MHz of spectrum in the 3500MHz band and 2x5MHz of 2600MHz from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for a gross consideration of $316.7 million, payable in local currency.

At the time of announcing the purchase, the telco noted that the additional spectrum would support the group’s investments in network expansion for both mobile data and fixed wireless home broadband capability, including 5G rollout, providing significant capacity to accommodate our continued strong data growth in the country and exceptional customer experience.

It further disclosed that the acquisition of the 5G spectrum will underpin the group’s growth strategy by enabling the launch of higher-speed connectivity to enhance customer service and accelerate digitalization for consumers, enterprises, and the public sector.

According to the statement, the key benefits of 5G will include higher speeds, lower latency, significant network capacity as well as an improved user experience.

“Furthermore, the deployment of 5G will accelerate the availability and efficiency of fixed wireless access products across the country, contributing towards Airtel Nigeria’s progress in meeting the National Broadband Plan targets.

“The acquisition of 2600MHz spectrum will complement our already strong spectrum position in the market to enhance network capacity and future-proof our growth opportunity,” the group noted.

Commenting on the development, CEO of Airtel Africa, Segun Ogunsanya, described Nigeria as a market with enormous potential for future growth in mobile services.

He said: “Investment in new technologies and local infrastructure to enable this growth is a strategic priority for the Group and will ensure we can provide reliable and affordable services to local communities across the country. 5G is critical to these ambitions, and we look forward to launching new services to drive further digitalization across the country, facilitate economic progress and transform lives across Nigeria.”

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