By Business A.M.
Airtel Africa has announced that its Nigerian subsidiary, Airtel Networks Limited (Airtel Nigeria), paid N58.7 billion to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to renew its 2×10 MHz 2100 MHz spectrum licence.
The telecommunication giant, in a statement to the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) which was signed by Simon O’Hara, the company secretary,, said the licence, once renewed, will be valid for 15 years following the expiry of the previous licence at the end of April 2022.
Airtel further noted that the investment to renew the licence reflects its continued confidence in the opportunity seen in the Nigerian market.
Prior to the latest development, Airtel Africa, had in January 2023, announced that its Nigerian subsidiary, Airtel Nigeria purchased 100 MHz of spectrum in the 3,500 MHz band and 2x5MHz of 2,600MHz from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for a gross consideration of $316.7 million, payable in local currency.
“This additional spectrum will support Airtel investments in network expansion for both mobile data and fixed wireless home broadband capability, including 5G rollout, providing significant capacity to accommodate strong data growth in the country and exceptional customer experience,” it stated.
Though Nigeria is considered Airtel Africa’s largest market,the penetration of data customers in Nigeria remains low. This, according to the telecom company, provides significant opportunity for future growth, supported by a four-fold increase in data traffic over the last three years
Airtel said the acquisition of 5G spectrum will underpin the growth strategy by enabling the launch of higher speed connectivity to enhance customer service and accelerate digitalisation for consumers, enterprises and the public sector.
Furthermore, it said the deployment of 5G will accelerate the availability and efficiency of fixed wireless access products across the country, contributing towards Airtel Nigeria’s progress in meeting the national broadband plan targets.