Airtel Nigeria announced on Monday the acquisition of 5G spectrum and additional spectrum for its 4G network for a total sum of $316.7 million.
According to a statement from the local unit of Airtel Africa, the decision is part of its commitment to deepen higher-speed connectivity in Nigeria through 5G cellular technology.
The company said it bought 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.
As a strategic part of a broader plan to boost Airtel Nigeria’s mobile data network, as well as the power of its fixed wireless home broadband, the spectrum purchase increases Airtel Nigeria’s existing capacity ahead of the launch of 5G technology.
The company is looking to gain the timely traction needed to carve out a good place in the fifth-generation technology segment of Africa’s largest telecoms market, where two early risers won operating licenses in 2021.
“The acquisition of 5G spectrum will support our growth strategy by enabling the launch of higher-speed connectivity to improve customer service and accelerate digitalization for consumers, businesses, and the public sector,” the document says.
On Monday, shares of Airtel Africa rose 5.2% to N1,630 a piece on Lagos Customs Road at 13:28 WAT after the news hit the market, lifting its market value above the N6.1 trillion, the largest of all those listed on the stock market. company in the country.
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Airtel Nigeria forfeited an early opportunity to run 5G technology in Nigeria when, in December 2021, big rival MTN Nigeria and Mafab Communications snapped up the two available permits in the main auction organized by the NCC.
While MTN started operations in August, Mafab sought a five-month extension due this month from the regulator for its own launch.
Nigeria is the largest market for both Airtel Africa and MTN Group (the parent company of MTN Nigeria).
Airtel Nigeria has ensured that the expansion drive will facilitate connectivity at a faster pace to enable better customer service delivery and rapid access to digitization for consumers, businesses and the public sector.
The corporation is weighing “the (shallow) penetration of data clients in Nigeria,” where Affordable Internet Alliance they say less than 44 percent of people have access to smartphones and see the gap as room to foster growth.
“Nigeria is a market with huge potential for future growth in mobile services,” said Segun Ogunsanya, CEO of Airtel Africa.
“Investing in new technology and local infrastructure to enable this growth is a strategic priority for the group and will ensure that we can provide reliable and affordable services to local communities across the country,” he added.
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