In Nigeria, Airtel has disclosed that it will use the newly acquired 5G spectrum to drive its growth within the West African country’s telecommunications market.
In a statement, the company said it acquired a 100 MHz spectrum in the 3500MHz band and 2x5MHz of 2600MHz from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) at a fee of US$316.7 million.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) noted that as of 5 December 2022, Airtel Nigeria and Standard Network & Connections Limited (Standard Network) had shown interest in the auction of the 3.5GHz spectrum. However, only Airtel paid the Intention to Bid Deposit (IBD) as stipulated in the information memorandum, making the telco the sole successful bidder.
The telecom operator said the additional spectrum will ensure higher speed connectivity, improved customer experience, and accelerate digitalisation for consumers, enterprises, and the public sector.
Airtel stated that it looks forward to expanding its network for mobile data and fixed wireless home broadband capability, including 5G rollout, which will adorn the network with the requisite capacity to support strong data growth.
Speaking on the acquisition, CEO of Airtel Africa Segun Ogunsanya said, “Investment in new technologies and local infrastructure to enable this growth is a strategic priority for the Group and will ensure we can provide reliable and affordable services to local communities across the country.”
Airtel has operations in 14 African countries, with Nigeria being its largest. The company believes this latest development will empower it with an additional competitive advantage to compete against MTN Nigeria and Globacom Limited (Glo).