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NCC Renews MTN Nigeria Mobile Licence

MTNThe Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has renewed the mobile licence held by the MTN Group for another period of five years, ending on August 31, 2021 for its operations in Nigeria operating as MTN Nigeria through which it offers GSM services among a bouquet of telecom offerings.

This is consequent upon the imminent expiration of the operating licence originally won by MTN and issued by the NCC as Digital Mobile Licence in 2001, which had an expiry date of February 2016. MTN was issued the DML in the auction exercise, which took place in January 2001 and described globally as most transparent. MTN won the licence along with then Econet (now Airtel) and M-Tel, the latter whose licence had been comatose, although its parent company, Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) was recently bought by Natcom Development and Investment Limited.

For the renewal, MTN Group is to cough out N18,845,030,550 (Eighteen billion, eight hundred and forty-five million, thirty thousand five hundred and fifty Naira) ($94,225,152.75). The licence issued in 2001 went for $285 million.

Announcing the cheery news in a press statement issued from its headquarters today and made available to IT & Telecom Digest, the MTN Group stated:

“The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has approved the renewal, and consequent extension of the tenure of MTN’s operating spectrum in the 900MHz and 1800MHz frequency bands. With this renewal and extension, MTN’s operating spectrum which was issued along with the Digital Mobile License (DML) in 2001 (with an original expiry date of February 2016), has now been extended to 31 August 2021.

“The licence extension notification was contained in a letter dated 2 November 2015. The sum of US$94,225,152.75 (ninety four million, two hundred and twenty five thousand, one hundred and fifty two dollars, seventy five cents) is payable as a spectrum fee for the 5-year extension period by no later than 31 December 2015 and conditional upon MTN fulfilling all its regulatory obligations.

“In February 2001, the NCC issued DML’s to three mobile operators. The licenses were bundled with spectrum in the 900MHz and 1800MHz frequency bands. Amongst other authorisations, MTN also holds a Unified Access License and a 3G Spectrum License through which it provides a full bouquet of digital services to its customers throughout Nigeria.”

Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a leading emerging market operator, connecting subscribers in 22 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code: “MTN.” As of 30 September 2015, MTN recorded 233 million subscribers across its operations in Afghanistan, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Iran, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville), Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, South Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia.


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