Internet Technology

MTN Nigeria to invest $1.5 billion to expand broadband over three years

FILE PHOTO - People walk past an advertising billboard for MTN telecommunication company in Abuja, Nigeria February 24, 2020. REUTERS-Afolabi Sotunde-File Photo

MTN Nigeria plans to invest 600 billion naira ($1.5 billion) over the next three years to expand broadband access in Africa’s most populous country, its chief executive said on Monday.

“Operationally, our mobile subscribers closed H1 at 68.9 million, down 9.9% from December 2020. This was due to the regulatory restrictions on new SIM sales and activations, which was lifted on 19 April 2021,” MTN Nigeria’s CEO Karl Toriola said on an analyst call.

Toriola said the telecoms company was boosting its 4G coverage and providing home broadband as part of a rural connectivity programme. MTN said it plans to connect around 1,000 rural communities to its network this year and extra 2,000 communities next year.

In March, MTN Nigeria said it was at an advanced stage in renewing its operating spectrum and licence in Nigeria for another 10 years from September.

The spectrum underpins MTN’s data network and telecom coverage in Africa’s biggest economy.

Nigeria expects to start auctioning spectrum for next generation 5G network in the fourth quarter of this year, the head of the country’s communications commission has said.

Toriola said MTN plans to take advantage of a Nigerian government road infrastructure tax credit scheme to rehabilitate a highway in the southern part of the country to lower its tax exposure.

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