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MTN, Airtel renew 3G spectrum licences

MTN, Airtel renew 3G spectrum licences
May 09
18:55 2023

MTN Nigeria says it has renewed its 2100MHz spectrum licence for a period of 15 years for the sum of N56.66 billion.

The 2100MHz spectrum represents the 3G mobile service and was first launched in 2007.

In a statement on Monday, the telecom giant said the renewal, made to the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), took effect on May 1, 2022, and will end on April 30, 2037.

“Having accepted NCC’s offer to renew our 2100MHz spectrum for a period of 15 years, effective from 1 May 2022 to 30 April 2037, MTN Nigeria has paid N58.66 billion to the NCC. The 2100MHz spectrum licence enables the provision of 3G mobile services on our network,” the company said.

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MTN Nigeria also said it received approval from the NCC to lease its spectrums to Natcom Development and Investment Limited (NTEL).

The telco added that spectrums 900MHz and 1800MHz would be for two years, and should cover 19 states in Nigeria.

“NCC has approved a spectrum lease transaction between MTN Nigeria and NTEL for the lease of NTEL’s 5MHz frequency division duplex (FDD) in the 900MHz spectrum band and 10MHz FDD in the 1800MHz spectrum band covering 19 states,” MTN said.

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“The transaction is for a period of two years, effective May 1, 2023, at a cost of N4.25 billion, including taxes, regulatory fees, and ancillary charges.”

Also speaking on the deals, Karl Toriola, the chief executive officer (CEO) of MTN Nigeria, said the transactions represent a significant move for the company.

“This is a significant milestone in delivering our ‘ambition 2025 strategy’. The access to NTEL’s 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrums broadens our spectrum holdings and improves our 3G and 4G user experience as coverage and capacity will be enhanced by utilising these spectrums,” Toriola said.

In a related development, Airtel Nigeria also announced the renewal of its 2100MHz spectrum licence.

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Simon O’Hara, group secretary at Airtel Nigeria, in a statement, said the payment was also for a period of 15 years.

“Airtel Nigeria has made a payment of NGN58.7 billion, payable to the NCC, to renew its 2×10 MHz 2100 MHz spectrum licence. Once renewed, the licence will be valid for a period of 15 years following the expiry of the previous licence (31 April 2022),” the statement reads.

According to the company, the renewal of its licence is an investment that reflects “continued confidence in the opportunity inherent across the Nigerian market, supporting the local communities and economies through furthering digital inclusion and connectivity.”

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