Airtel to ramp up 4G connectivity following the acquisition of 10 MHz spectrum

Airtel Africa has announced that it has completed the acquisition of an additional 10MHz block of spectrum, to help it boost 4G coverage in Nigeria.

Airtel Africa confirmed that it paid a total of $94 million for the 10MHz block of spectrum in the 900MHz band, purchased from Intercellular Nigeria Limited. Nigeria remains Africa’s biggest telecoms market and is seeing huge uptake in 4G services

The additional spectrum will help Airtel Africa ramp up its 4G services in Africa’s largest telecoms market.

Data is a key pillar of our growth strategy, driven by increasing 4G networks and supported by the increased affordability and increasing penetration of smartphones.

Raghunath Mandava, CEO of Airtel Africa

Nigeria is Airtel Africa’s largest market. In the six months’ period ended 30 September 2019, Airtel Nigeria’s revenue increased by 23%, with data growth being the largest contributor. Data revenue increased by 76% during the period driven by the accelerated rollout of our 4G network, with increase in data customer base of 20.8% and an ARPU growth of 43%. During the period, 4G data usage increased by almost 20 times.

With an overall smartphone penetration of more than 35 per cent and data consumption growing by 92 per cent in the six months’ period ended 30 September 2019, Nigeria presents a significant growth opportunity in data. The acquisition of this spectrum will enable us to further deliver on this growth opportunity and continue to offer our Nigerian customers an enhanced user experience.

Raghunath Mandava, CEO of Airtel Africa

Airtel Africa, the second largest mobile operator in Africa by number of active subscribers, offers an integrated suite of telecommunications solutions to its subscribers, including mobile voice and data services as well as mobile money services both nationally and internationally. The Group has invested to expand its network footprint and number of 4G sites, to enhance network quality and experience. Airtel Africa is well positioned to capture growth opportunities presented by promising underlying macroeconomic and demographic trends in a fast-growing region that is vastly underpenetrated in terms of mobile and banking services. The Group’s footprint is characterized by low but increasing levels of mobile connectivity, with a unique user penetration at 44%, highlighting the potential for growth across its footprint.

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