After announcing that it will commence 4G LTE commercial services in July, MTN Nigeria in the auction exercise organized by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has won the frequency spectrum license for the 2.6 GHz band as the sole bidder.
According to Premium Times, the 10-year license will guarantee superior performance of MTN wireless networks, especially 4G LTE services, including the roll-out of broadband internet services across the country, starting in the major cities of Lagos and Abuja.
Nigeria became one of the 28 African countries currently offering 4G LTE services. And like other 4G LTE network operators in Nigeria – Swift 4G LTE, Spectranet NG, ntel 4G LTE and Smile VoLTE – the rate of penetration has been restricted to a few major cities. Those of us using Visafone, simply migrate to MTN. Here is a guide on what to do.
In an official statement released by MTN on Wednesday, MTN said that the licence acquisition, valued at about N18.96 billion, is “a big boost to its plan to deliver global mobile broadband and LTE 4G services to over 60 million customers in Nigeria”.
Presently, the company it reportedly planning to deploy FDD networks in addition to its existing WIMAX over TDD networks, to ensure for greater consistency with existing 2G and 3G deployments.
MTN Nigeria CEO, Ferdi Moolman, said with the 2.6 GHz band, the company will roll out immediately to provide the full range of LTE services to Nigerians, empowering Nigeria with the latest mobile broadband technology.
The NCC has described the spectrum as a significant trigger for a broadband revolution that would ensure greater coverage, access, affordability and innovation for the customers.
MTN 2.6 GHz Licence Ripples
I think NTEL and other 4G service provider in the country are in trouble, since they provide 4G LTE exclusively (no 2G/3G services). Recall that about 2,140,299 Visafone subscribers controlled by the CDMA operator has made a switch after MTN bought them over.
MTN Nigeria now has the paucity of the infrastructure required to deploy effectively across the Nation. More than three months after its launch. NTEL has effectively covered only part of Abuja, and only late this month started servicing a tiny part of Lagos.
With the infrastructure it already has in place across Nigeria, MTN can now roll out its own 4G LTE services in many sectors of the economy right away.
Unfortunately, NTEL does not have the numbers (in terms of subscribers) to be able to price aggressively or competitively in a way that it can challenge the expected market dominance/freight train of MTN in 4G LTE services.
Having said all the above, anything is possible in this technology world. So we shall see how everything plays out. Considering the present data war going on between telcos in Nigeria, one just hopes that the consumer – such as yours truly – will be the better for it.