BMA has learnt that MTN Nigeria has secured the Nigerian Communications Commission’s (NCC) approval to lease Natcom Development and Investment Limited’s spectrum for two years, starting May 1st, 2023.
It is worth noting that the deal enables MTN Nigeria to lease two spectrums from NTEL (5HMz Frequency Division Duplex and 10HMz FDD), which cover 19 states in Nigeria.
The transaction cost MTN Nigeria US$9 million, which includes taxes, regulatory fees, and additional charges.
MTN reported that the telecom regulator had also renewed its 2100MHz spectrum for 15 years, effective from 1 May 2022 to 30 April 2037, in a corporate action filed by the group.
This spectrum enables the telecom company to continue to provide 3G services on its network. MTN said it has also sent US$126 million to the NCC for this spectrum.
Speaking on this development, MTN Nigeria CEO Karl Toriola said: “This is a significant milestone in delivering our Ambition 2025 strategy. The access to NTEL’S 90OMHz and 1800MHz spectrums broadens our spectrum holdings and improves our 3G and 4G user experience as coverage and capacity will be enhanced by utilising these spectrums.”
According to Toriola, MTN would not be discontinuing its 3G service despite spending more money on extending its 5G service across the nation because its 3G licence was renewed for another 15 years. This will enable those living in rural areas who cannot afford 4G or 5G phones to continue using their 3G devices to access the internet.
In Nigeria, MTN was the first telecom operator to launch commercial 5G in September 2022, and the company is further boosting its 3G and 4G services with the latest spending on additional spectrum.