Nigeria: MTN Spends N72bn to Renew Unified Access, Spectrum Licences

An MTN-branded bus stop in Lagos (file photo).
9 September 2021

MTN Nigeria, yesterday, revealed that it paid N71.6 billion for the renewal of its Spectrum Licence and another N374.6 million for the renewal of its Universal Access Service (UAS) licence for the next 10 years.

Both licences amount to over N72 billion, which MTN paid into the federal government coffers, through its regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

In a letter signed by the telecoms Company's Secretary, Uto Ukpanah, and sighted by THISDAY, MTN Nigeria expressed happiness that the NCC hads formally notified the telecoms company of the renewal of its Unified Access Service (UAS) licence and spectrum licence for wireless local loop in the 900MHz and 1800MHz band, subject to licemce conditions, including additional amounts under discussion.

The licences, which expired on August 31, 2021, have now been renewed for a further 10 year period, beginning from September 1, 2021 to August 31, 2031.

Commenting on the renewals, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MTN Nigeria, Mr. Karl Toriola , said: "Renewing our licences for another 10 years is very important to our business and enables us to continue to provide services to ensure the benefits of a modern connected life for our people. MTN is delighted with its strong partnership with the NCC and looks forward to working closely with the commission and the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, to accelerate the growth of Nigeria's digital economy."

Toriola said the spectrum licence would enable it provide its 3G and 4G technology services to its over 73 million subscribers in Nigeria.

While the 900MHz and 1800 MHz spectrum band are used mainly for voice, MTN uses its 2600MHz spectrum licence for 4G, which is mainly for data.

In a recent interview, which Toriola granted THISDAY Newspapers, he said: "In support of Nigeria's National Broadband Plan in 2021, MTN plans to have additional 510 2G; 616 3G; 4,745 4G sites as well as 200 U900; 1,226 fibre to site and 232 E-Band connections." The essence is to strengthen the MTN network for 2G, 3G and 4G technology rollout across the country.

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