MTN Nigeria is reportedly in discussions with the owners of 9mobile, signaling the potential acquisition of a significant stake in the country’s fourth-largest mobile operator, according to a report in Technology Times.
The newspaper said according to reliable sources in the telecoms industry, MTN Nigeria, a subsidiary of South Africa’s MTN Group, and Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services Limited (EMTS), the owners of 9mobile (formerly known as Etisalat Nigeria), are in advanced stages of negotiations concerning a frequency trade arrangement.
This spectrum-focused strategy is being explored as a means to revitalise struggling 9mobile, which has faced challenges following the departure of key technical partners and advisors, namely Mubadala of the UAE and Etisalat of the UAE.
However, a very close source to 9mobile, who spoke with The Guardian, also on anonymity, said there was no substance in the news flying up and down in the media.
“If you read the story very well on the online platform, you will see that it is disjointed. One place, it talks about spectrum, another MVNO, later Globacom COO. I believe strongly that if 9mobile wants to sell stakes to MTN, the management would come out clear and talk straight about it. There is absolutely no direction in the story currently making the round in the media,” he stated