MTN Group’s Nigerian unit has been awarded a 5G licence in Africa’s most populous country, paving the way for the continent’s largest wireless carrier to supply faster Internet to consumers and businesses.
MTN Nigeria Communications won one of the two licences on offer at the auction on Monday, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission.
The second was granted to Mafab Communications, beating Bharti Airtel’s Africa unit to it.
Both MTN Nigeria and Mafab reached the 11th auction round where bid price was set at US$275.9-million (R4.4-billion) for each of the licence, above the $197.4-million reserve price.
Nigeria aims to deploy 5G over major urban areas of the country and become Africa’s biggest network for the spectrum by 2025, minister of communications Isa Pantami said. “This technology will go a long way in supporting our security institutions who will leverage on it and ensure that we are all secure,” he said.
MTN is the West African country’s biggest wireless operator, while Airtel Africa, which listed in Lagos and London in 2019, vies with local operator Globacom as the country’s second biggest carrier. — Ruth Olurounbi, (c) 2021 Bloomberg LP