GSM operator, Globacom could be the new owner of 9Mobile if reports by Newtelegraph are anything to go by. Results of the bidding process are likely to be announced in the next few days. Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Professor Umar Dambatta had earlier revealed that 5 bidders had been selected namely: Teleology Holdings, Globacom, Smile, Bharti AIrtel and Helios

Competition will go up

Competition in the telecommunications sector is likely to tighten up if Globacom emerges the winner. User data from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) as at October 2017, shows MTN had 50.7 million subscribers or 36.14% of Nigeria’s GSM market. Globacom was the second largest operator with 37.4 million or 26.6% of the market share. Adding 9Mobile’s estimated 17 million subscribers will put it at par with MTN.

Why is 9Mobile being sold ?

Etisalat Nigeria had in 2013 obtained a $1.2 billion loan from a consortium of banks led by GT Bank, for network expansion purposes. The company however defaulted on the loan due to a devaluation of the Naira.

The banks then attempted to take over the firm, but where stopped by the Nigerian Communications Comission and the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN. The crisis also led to the pull out of Etisalat UAE from the venture, and a subsequent name change to 9mobile. Some of the banks involved in the transaction have also written down a portion of the loan.

About Globacom

Globacom was established on the 29th of August, 2003 and is Nigeria’s second largest telecommunications operator. Globacom has operations in other West African countries namely Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire. The company made history in Nigeria, when it became the first GSM operator to implement per second billing.

The company recently lost its licence in the Republic of Benin, due to a disagreement between Globacom and ARCEP, the Beninoise regulator over new terms imposed.

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Onome Ohwovoriole has a degree in Economics and Statistics from the University of Benin and prior to joining Nairametrics in December 2016 as Lead Analyst had stints in Publishing, Automobile Services, Entertainment and Leadership Training. He covers companies in the Nigerian corporate space, especially those listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). He also has a keen interest in new frontiers like Cryptocurrencies and Fintech. In his spare time, he loves to read books on finance, fiction as well as keep up with happenings in the world of international diplomacy. You can contact him via onome.ohwovoriole@nairametrics.com

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