Airtel Nigeria $317 Million Spectrum Acquisition Push Stock Prices Up


Airtel Nigeria on Monday announced the acquisition of 5G spectrum and an additional spectrum for its 4G network for a total sum of $316.7 million. The firm’s shares climbed 5.2 per cent to N1,630 per unit on the Nigerian Stock Exchange at 13:28 WAT after the news hit the market, pushing its market value above N6.1 trillion, the biggest by any publicly traded company in the country.

According to a statement by the local unit of Airtel Africa, the decision is part of its commitment to deepen higher-speed connectivity in Nigeria by way of 5G cellular technology.

The company said that it purchased 100 MHz of spectrum in the 3500MHz band and 2x5MHz of 2600MHz from the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), for a gross consideration of $316.7m, payable in the local currency.

A strategic strand of a broader plan to boost Airtel Nigeria’s mobile data network as well as the power of its fixed wireless home broadband, the spectrum purchase raises Airtel Nigeria’s current capacity ahead of the rollout of 5G technology.

The company seeks to gain the timely traction needed to earn itself a good place in the fifth-generation technology segment of Africa’s largest telecom market where two early birds secured operational licenses in 2021.

“The acquisition of 5G spectrum will underpin our growth strategy by enabling the launch of higher speed connectivity to enhance customer service and accelerate digitalisation for consumers, enterprises and the public sector,” the document said.

Airtel Nigeria gave up an early chance to run 5G technology in Nigeria when, in December 2021, big rival MTN Nigeria and Mafab Communications snapped up the two available permits at the premier auction arranged by the NCC.