Airtel Plans To Purchase Extra Spectrum for $70M
Airtel Nigeria is on course to improve its 4G LTE. Recently, the telecom giant purchased an extra spectrum for $70M. This additional spectrum will allow Airtel to strengthen its 4G LTE service across the country while also expanding it.
Why Does Airtel Need Extra Spectrum?
Since its largest market in Africa, Airtel increased its revenue in Nigeria by 23% in the first six months of this year. The largest contributor to this revenue increase is data growth.
Due to the increased rollout of the Airtel 4G network, the telecom giant raised its revenue by 76% within the stated period. At the same time, it recorded a 43 percent ARPU growth and 20.8 percent increase in the data customer base.
Evidently, purchasing an extra spectrum will not only help Airtel Nigeria to provide better 4G LTE services to its customers but the telecom will also make more revenue in the long run.
Commenting on the spectrum acquisition, Airtel Africa CEO Raghunath Mandava said that data is very important in their growth strategy as it is driven by increasing 4G networks while also supported by the increasing smartphone penetration and affordability.
Mandava also added that Nigeria presents a remarkable growth opportunity in data due to its over 35% smartphone penetration and data consumption growing by 92% in the six months’ period that ended on September 30, 2019. “The acquisition of this spectrum will enable us to further deliver on this growth opportunity and continue to offer our Nigerian customers an enhanced user experience”, he said.
NCC Regulatory Approval
The frequency spectrum can be purchased in several ways according to the law. Usually, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) auctions the spectrum which is then purchased by telecoms.
According to the Director of Spectrum Administration at NCC Mr. Austin Nwaulune, NCC did not auction any spectrum recently because of its scarcity even in other parts of the world.
But telecoms can also purchase unused spectrums from other telecoms provided that the process will be supervised and approved by the NCC. As such, the telecom giant purchased the unused spectrum of Intercellular Nigeria Limited on November 25 for $70.
Purchasing an extra spectrum has a lot of implications not only for Airtel Nigeria but also for its customers. 4G LTE is important for businesses and individuals. With the increased frequency spectrum, businesses using Airtel can access faster and more stable internet connection and this could also increase the number of customers who use Airtel.