Airtel Africa completes spectrum acquisition from rival

20 April 2020

Airtel Africa has completed the acquisition of 10 MHz of spectrum in the 900 MHz band in Nigeria from fellow operator Intercellular Nigeria.

This additional spectrum purchase, agreed in November 2019, is expected to reinforce the former’s leading 4G position in its largest market by increasing the available capacity of the existing network and supporting the further roll-out of 4G. It will also allow Airtel Africa to efficiently manage capex spend for its 4G network. The firm operates a single RAN network and the majority of its sites already support the activation of the additional 10 MHz spectrum in the 900 MHz band. In addition, the acquisition will enable Airtel Africa to expand its fast-growing fixed wireless broadband offering.

In total the acquisition involved a payment of US$94m, including Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) fees. Airtel Africa’s Nigerian division reported an increase in revenue last year of more than 23%, with data growth being the largest contributor.