MTN Nigeria announced on Wednesday that it has secured a ten-year frequency spectrum licence for the 2.6GHz band, which guarantees superior performance for wireless networks, especially 4G LTE services.
The spectrum was awarded by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), which announced MTN as sole approved bidder.
Although Nigeria is one of 28 African countries that currently offer 4G/LTE services, the rate of penetration is restricted to a few major cities. As such, MTN’s success in this auction is a big boost to its plan to deliver global mobile broadband and LTE 4G services to over 60 million customers in Nigeria.
MTN Nigeria CEO Ferdi Moolman, said in a statement that after complying with all the requirements for the 2.6GHz auction and making the licence payment of N18.96 billion to the NCC, MTN has been issued a letter of award.
“With the 2.6 GHz band, we expect to roll out and provide the full range of LTE services to Nigerians, empowering Nigeria with the latest mobile broadband technology.”
The NCC has described this spectrum as a significant trigger for a broadband revolution that will unlock benefits such as greater coverage, access, affordability and innovation, with the customer at the centre of these gains.
Studies by McKinsey have shown that a 10% increase in broadband penetration is associated with a 1.4% increase in GDP growth in developing markets. As such, the knock-on effect on individuals, businesses and multiple sectors of the economy signal far reaching implications for socio-economic growth and development.
Moolman added “This license acquisition further demonstrates MTN’s abiding faith in the future of Nigeria and the resilience of the Nigerian economy. MTN continues to believe in Nigeria and we have expressed this belief in the level of our investment, which currently stands at approximately USD 15 billion and counting. We strongly believe that there is need for significant levels of investment in broadband infrastructure and services to truly launch Nigeria into the information age. We are honoured to be the arrowhead.”