Nigeria: Visafone 800MHz to MTN Okay for Telecoms Growth

MTN Nigeria has said the 30% National Broadband Plan (NBP 2013-2018) by the Federal Government can be actualized by fourth quarter of the year with the release of Visafone’s 800 Megahertz spectrum for usage in the telecommunication sector.

The multinational mobile telecommunications company explained that its network coverage and Quality of Service (QoS) bound to improve for the benefit of subscribers in the sector with Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC)’s approval of the spectrum transfer to MTN Nigeria.

According to Senior Manager, Regulatory Affairs, MTN Nigeria, Johnson Oyewo who lauded NCC for sustaining competitive regulatory business environment in the sector over the year however urged the industry regulator to take due diligence and transfer the Visafone spectrum appropriately in due course.

“In order for the network expansion(MTN), and attendant service quality improvement to continue, it NCC should take a fair decision, in allowing the transfer of the Visafone 800MHz to MTN in the interest of the consumer and the Nigerian economy

“Nigeria’s broadband penetration is presently at 21/22%. We are committed to the national broadband penetration which was why we bought the 2.6 GHz spectrum band and MTN was the only bidder then. We are working hard to expand our networks across Nigeria and the 800MHz gives an advantage of wider coverage using fewer resources. The ultimate beneficiaries are the Nigerian government, and every Nigerian who will benefit from the pervasive roll-out of broadband services and success of the rural telephony project.

”MTN has shown time and again, that we are committed to the Nigerian market. MTN has consistently invested in communications infrastructure, particularly broadband infrastructure in Nigeria. The facts are there for everyone to verify, no other operator has displayed this level of commitment to development of the Nigerian telecoms space including operators whose parent companies rank higher globally in terms of subscriber numbers.

“MTN’s continuous infrastructural roll-out underscores the company’s unwavering commitment to Nigeria in the long term, and as such other operators too should demonstrate the same commitment as the attendant impact of all operators’ collective investment on GDP given the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)’s findings will lead to a 10% leap in broadband penetration thereby resulting in 1% yield on GDP as well as lower retail prices which is beneficial to all consumers,” he said.

Following the acquisition of 100 per cent equity of Visafone by MTN in 2015, Visafone had applied to the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) for the transfer of its frequency and licence to MTN.

Competitors had argued on why the Nigerian Communications Commission should or should not transfer Visafone’s licence and spectrum to MTN Nigeria Communications Limited.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) will decide before mid-July on whether to allow MTN Nigeria to continue using the 800MHz spectrum it acquired along with Visafone licence or disallow it.

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