Airtel Networks Limited, also known as Airtel Nigeria, has acquired 4G and 5G spectrums from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for a cumulative price of $316.7 million.
This was confirmed on Monday by the parent company of the Nigerian subsidiary, Airtel Africa Plc, which trades its shares on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited.
In a regulatory notice, the firm said the $3.16.7 million for the 100 MHz of spectrum in the 3500MHz band and 2x5MHz of 2600MHz would be paid to the regulator in Naira.
Airtel expressed its excitement at buying the spectrums, saying they would ensure that its subscribers enjoy better internet services.
“This additional spectrum will support our investments in network expansion for both mobile data and fixed wireless home broadband capability, including 5G rollout, providing significant capacity to accommodate our continued strong data growth in the country and exceptional customer experience,” a part of the disclosure stated.
The GSM network provider stated that the penetration of data customers in Nigeria remains low, providing significant opportunities for future growth.
“The acquisition of 5G spectrum will underpin our growth strategy by enabling the launch of higher speed connectivity to enhance customer service and accelerate digitalisation for consumers, enterprises and the public sector. The key benefits of 5G will include higher speeds, lower latency, significant network capacity as well as an improved user experience.
“Furthermore, 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.
“The acquisition of 2600MHz spectrum will complement our already strong spectrum position in the market to enhance network capacity and future-proof our growth opportunity,” it stated.
While commenting on the acquisition, the group chief executive of Airtel Africa, Mr Segun Ogunsanya, stated “Nigeria is a market with enormous potential for future growth in mobile services.
“Investment in new technologies and local infrastructure to enable this growth is a strategic priority for the Group and will ensure we are able to provide reliable and affordable services to local communities across the country.
“5G is critical to these ambitions, and we look forward to launching new services to drive further digitalisation across the country, facilitate economic progress and transform lives across Nigeria.”
Airtel Nigeria is Airtel Africa’s largest market, with significant growth potential. The company led the industry in providing affordable 4G services across the country following the deployment of a fully modernised network, which facilitated a 4-fold increase in data traffic over the last three