MTN Nigeria, the leading telecom company in Nigeria, has secured the approval of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to lease two spectrums from Natcom Development and Investment Limited (NTEL). This is a significant move that will broaden the company’s spectrum holdings and enhance its 3G and 4G user experience. The spectrums cover 19 states in Nigeria and the transaction cost MTN Nigeria N4.25 billion.
In addition, the company has renewed its 2100MHz spectrum for a period of 15 years, effective from 1 May 2022 to 30 April 2037, for N58.66 billion. This will enable the telecom company to continue to provide 3G services on its network, further solidifying its position as a major player in the Nigerian telecom market.
The move is a part of the company’s Ambition 2025 strategy, which seeks to accelerate long-term business growth in Nigeria while leveraging emerging opportunities. The strategy is built on four key strategic priorities, and informs MTN’s current and future projects as the company moves to create leading digital platforms for Africa’s progress while providing the tools to ensure the connectivity to access those opportunities.
With the renewal of its 3G licence for another 15 years, it is now certain that MTN will not be shutting down its 3G service even as it spends more on expanding its 5G service across the country. This will allow people in rural communities, who cannot afford 4G or 5G phones, to continue to enjoy access to the internet on their 3G devices.
Globally, the expansion of 5G has pushed internet service providers like AT&T and T-Mobile to shut down 3G service earlier in 2022, and most recently, Verizon and Vodafone have notified customers that they intend to cut off 3G-enabled devices from their networks from December 2022 and December 2023 respectively.
However, in Nigeria, MTN was the first telecom operator to launch commercial 5G in September 2022, and the company is further boosting its 3G and 4G services with the latest spending on additional spectrum. This move will enable the company to provide faster and more reliable services, especially in areas with low coverage.
The leasing of the spectrums is a win-win situation for both MTN Nigeria and NTEL. MTN Nigeria will benefit from increased spectrum holdings, which will enhance its network coverage and user experience. NTEL, on the other hand, will benefit from the revenue generated from the lease, which will help the company to continue to provide its services to customers.
It is noteworthy that this development will also have a positive impact on the Nigerian telecom industry as a whole. The industry has been plagued by a shortage of spectrum, and the approval of the lease transaction will help to address this challenge, providing opportunities for other players in the industry to improve their services.
In conclusion, the approval of the spectrum lease transaction between MTN Nigeria and NTEL is a significant milestone that will enhance the company’s spectrum holdings and improve its 3G and 4G user experience. The renewal of its 3G licence for another 15 years is also a positive development that will enable the company to continue to provide reliable internet services to its customers. The move is in line with the company’s Ambition 2025 strategy, which seeks to accelerate long-term business growth in Nigeria while leveraging emerging opportunities. Overall, this development is a positive one for the Nigerian telecom industry as a whole, as it will help to address the challenge of a shortage of spectrum and provide opportunities for other players in the industry to improve their services.
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