BY BAMIDELE FAMOOFO
Airtel Nigeria Limited, subsidiary of Airtel Africa Plc, has disclosed that it is paying $316.7 million (about N143 billion) to the Nigerian Communications Commission for purchase of 100 MHz of spectrum in the 3500MHz band and 2x5MHz of 2600MHz
According to Airtel, the additional spectrum will support its 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.
Airtel Nigeria is Airtel Africa’s largest market, with significant growth potential.
The company led the industry in providing affordable 4G services across the country following the deployment of a fully modernised network which facilitated a 4-fold increase in data traffic over the last three years.
Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Africa, Segun Ogunsanya, who commented on the deal, said: “Nigeria is a market with enormous potential for future growth in mobile services. Investment in new technologies and local infrastructure to enable this growth is a strategic priority for the Group and will ensure we are able to 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 digitalisation across the country, facilitate economic progress and transform lives across Nigeria.”
“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,” he disclosed.
The penetration of data customers in Nigeria remains low, providing significant opportunity for future growth. The acquisition of 5G spectrum will underpin our growth strategy by enabling the launch of higher speed connectivity to enhance customer service and accelerate digitalisation for consumers, enterprises and the public sector.
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.
Airtel Africa, is a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, with a presence in 14 countries across Africa.