The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has approved the renewal and consequent extension of the tenure of MTN’s operating licence in the West African country.
The renewal, which is worth more than US$94,225 million, ends speculation around the future of the mobile network operator in the country.
The fee is payable as a spectrum fee for the five-year extension period by no later than December 31 and conditional upon MTN fulfilling all its regulatory obligations.
It applies to the 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 August 2021.
MTN, which confirmed the latest developments from its Johannesburg base, is one of three mobile three mobile operators the NCC issued with licenses 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.
The South African-based company has emerged the biggest operator in Nigeria, where it has more than 62 million.
However, it recently suffered a setback when NCC fines it an equivalent of US$5,2 billion for failing to disconnect millions of subscribers that had failed to register their subscriber identity module (SIM). There were rumours its licence would not be renewed.–