Airtel completes $94m spectrum purchase

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A customer makes a call at the Bharti Airtel Ltd. flagship store in Mumbai, India on Thursday, May 2, 2013. Bharti Airtel, India's largest mobile-phone operator, posted profit that missed analyst estimates after a weaker rupee raised the interest payments and prices for network equipment. Photographer: Kuni Takahashi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Airtel Africa Plc says it has completed the acquisition of 10 MHz spectrum in the 900 MHZ band in Nigeria for a total consideration of $94 million.

The company said it completed the spectrum acquisition after obtaining approval from the Nigerian Communications Commission.
The telecommunications company said in a disclosure notice to the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Monday that it acquired the 10 megahertz spectrum in the 900 megahertz band in Nigeria from Intercellular Nigeria Limited.

The company explained that the $94 million included NCC fees in line with the commission’s Spectrum Trading Guidelines.
On November 14, 2019, Airtel had announced the deal, which it said would help reinforce its 4G position in Nigeria and increase the available capacity of the existing network.

The firm added that the new spectrum would provide more opportunities for data and home broadband services, improve both voice call quality and data experience and deepen Airtel Africa’s competitiveness in Nigeria.

In the nine months’ period ended December 31, 2019, the company said its revenue increased by more than 23 per cent, with data growth being the largest contributor.
“Data revenue increased by 75% during the period, driven by both data customer and ARPU growth, as a result of our leading 4G network,” it added.

Commenting on the development, Raghunath Mandava, CEO of Airtel Africa, noted that “with increasing smartphone penetration, data usage and a young growing population, Nigeria represents a significant growth opportunity in data.

“This investment will not only strengthen our leading 4G position in mobile data but also allow us to expand our fixed wireless broadband offer to support the government agenda for faster broadband services with improved coverage and availability.

“At Airtel Africa, we are committed to further strengthen our spectrum portfolio when there is a clear growth opportunity and this investment demonstrates our commitment to invest, at the right price, to continue to drive our business forward.”

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