Airtel Africa’s Nigerian subsidiary, Airtel Networks Limited (‘Airtel Nigeria’), has purchased 100MHz of spectrum in the 3500MHz band and 2 units each of 5MHz of 2600MHz from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for a gross consideration of $316.7 million.
Airtel Africa is a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel. The payment for the purchased spectrum will be done in local currency, Airtel Africa said in a notification to its investors Monday.
This additional spectrum will support the telco’s investments in network expansion for both mobile data and fixed wireless home broadband capability, including 5G rollout, it added.
The acquisition of 5G spectrum is expected to underpin Airtel Nigeria’s growth strategy through the launch of higher speed connectivity and accelerate digitalisation for consumers, enterprises and the public sector.
The deployment of 5G is also expected to accelerate the availability of fixed wireless access products across the country, and help Nigeria’s meet the National Broadband Plan targets.
The acquisition of 2600MHz spectrum has been done with the intent to enhance network capacity, the company said.
Segun Ogunsanya, chief executive, Airtel Africa said, “Investment in new technologies and local infrastructure to enable growth is a strategic priority for the Group and will ensure we are able to provide reliable and affordable services to local communities across the country. 5G is critical to these ambitions.”
Airtel Nigeria is Airtel Africa’s largest market and has seen a four-fold increase in data traffic following the deployment of a modernised network over the last three years.