MTN Nigeria has won access to the 2,6GHz spectrum band. This is a crucial band for providing wireless broadband services and comes well ahead of the allocation of access by South African authorities to local mobile operators, including MTN’s local subsidiary.
The Nigerian Communications Commission declared MTN as the winner of its latest auction for a 10-year frequency licence at 2,6GHz, which the operator will now use to deploy 4G/LTE services, starting in Lagos and Abuja.
The commission had earlier confirmed that MTN’s bid was in full compliance with the relevant provisions of an information memorandum in which it emerged as sole approved bidder, the telecommunications group said in a statement on Wednesday.
“MTN’s success in this auction is a big boost to its plan to deliver global mobile broadband and 4G/LTE services to over 60m customers in Nigeria,” it said in the statement.
MTN Nigeria has paid almost 19bn naira (about R1bn) for access to the spectrum.
The company’s CEO, Ferdi Moolman, said MTN has faith in the future of Nigeria and the resilience of its economy.
“MTN continues to believe in Nigeria and we have expressed this belief in the level of our investment, which currently stands at approximately US$15bn and counting. We strongly believe that there is a need for significant levels of investment in broadband infrastructure and services to truly launch Nigeria into the information age.”
At the same time, MTN Nigeria has said it has paid the first tranche of the fine it has to pay after failing to disconnect more than 5m unregistered Sim cards. That fine was reduced by about a third from the original fine of a trillion naira (about R52,5bn).
“I am pleased to announce that the first payment of 30bn naira in the terms of settlement has already been disbursed to the [commission]. In addition to the earlier payment of 50bn naira which we paid in good faith and without prejudice on 24 February, this means we have now paid a total of 80bn naira,” Moolman said. — © 2016 NewsCentral Media