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NCC approves MTN’s spectrum lease transaction from NTEL

MTN becomes first quoted company in Nigeria to post N2 trillion in revenues

MTN Nigeria has secured the approval of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to lease Natcom Development and Investment Limited’s spectrum for a 2-year period, starting from May 1st, 2023. 

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 N4.25 billion, which include taxes, regulatory fees, and auxiliary charges. 

According to a corporate action filed by the telco, the company also disclosed that the telecom regulator has also renewed its 2100MHz spectrum for a period of 15 years, effective from 1 May 2022 to 30 April 2037. 

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This spectrum enables the telecom company to continue to provide 3G services on its network. For this spectrum, MTN said, it has also send N58.66 billion to the NCC.  

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.” 

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Toriola averred that the renewal of its 3G licence for another 15 years, means that, “MTN will not be shutting down its 3G service even as it spends more on expanding its 5G service across the country. This will allow people in rural communities, who cannot afford 4G or 5G phones to continue to enjoy access to the internet on their 3G devices.”

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Globally, the expansion of 5G has pushed internet service providers like AT&T and T-Mobile to shut down 3G service earlier in 2022, and most recently, Verizon and Vodafone have notified customers that they intend to cut off 3G-enabled devices from their networks from December 2022 and December 2023 respectively. 

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. 

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