Airtel Nigeria extends operations by 10yrs, renews spectrum license with $189m

Telecommunications firm, Airtel Nigeria says it has paid $189 to renew its spectrum licences in the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands in the country.

A statement issued by parent company, Airtel Africa Plc, Wednesday, further informed that these spectrum licences were initially due to expire on November 20, 2021.

However, in order not to take chances, which may eventually disrupt services to its numerous customers, an application for the renewal was started ahead of the expiration.

The firm had applied to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for a request to extend the expiration date by 10 years and this has been granted.

In the statement, it was disclosed that Airtel Nigeria can now use the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands until November 30, 2031, after the payment of N71.6 billion ($189 million) as licence renewal fees.

“Airtel Africa, a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, with a presence in 14 countries across Africa, announces that the application for renewal of the spectrum licences in the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands for its Nigerian subsidiary, Airtel Networks Limited, has been approved by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

“These spectrum licences were otherwise due to expire on November 30, 2021. Following the application, the NCC subsequently offered Airtel Nigeria the opportunity to renew its spectrum licences in the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands for a period of 10 years with effect from December 1, 2021, until November 30, 2031, which Airtel Nigeria has accepted.

“Under the terms of the spectrum licences Airtel Nigeria has paid N71.611 billion ($189 million) in respect of the licence renewal fees,” the statement read in part.

Commenting on the development, the CEO of Airtel Africa, Mr Raghunath Mandava, expressed his excitement over the renewal of the licence of Airtel Nigeria, which he said remains “our largest market.”

He said, “We remain focused on bridging the digital divide and expanding our broadband capability in the country. On behalf of Airtel Nigeria and the group, I would like to thank both the government of Nigeria and the NCC for their cooperation and support in this important process.”

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