Airtel Africa Plc said its Nigerian subsidiary, Airtel Networks Limited, has acquired 100 MHz of spectrum in the 3500MHz band and 2x5MHz of 2600MHz from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
The announcement was made in a notice to the Nigerian Exchange Limited, as seen by Nairametrics.
The deal was for a gross consideration of $316.7 million and will be paid in Nigeria’s local currency the naira.
Support for network expansion: The statement which was signed by the Group Company Secretary Simon O’Hara, noted that the additional spectrum will support the group’s 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.
It stated that the acquisition of the 5G spectrum will underpin the group’s growth strategy by enabling the launch of higher-speed connectivity to enhance customer service and accelerate digitalisation for consumers, enterprises and the public sector.
Key benefits of the 5G network: According to the statement, 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,” the group noted.”
Deployment to enable affordable services: Segun Ogunsanya, the CEO of Airtel Africa also commented on the development, noting that Nigeria is a market with enormous potential for future growth in mobile services. He said:
“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.”