Airtel Africa has purchased an additional 10MHz spectrum in the 900MHz band to deliver a more efficient service across its various value offerings in the country.
Recently, we reported that Airtel Nigeria had finalised plans with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to purchase an additional 10MHz spectrum.
According to the initial disclosure, the spectrum was expected to cost $70 million, minus the mandatory NCC fees. Latest updates, however, show that the total cost of the spectrum to Airtel Nigeria is $94 million.
What does an additional 10MHz spectrum mean for Airtel Africa?
According to the telco, the additional spectrum will serve to improve both voice call quality and data experience for Airtel subscribers. It will also help in the creation of more opportunities for data and digital services as well as home broadband services.
Other major functionalities the spectrum will add to Airtel Africa customers in Nigeria are highlighted below
- It will increase the available capacity of Airtel’s existing network and further support the rolling out of 4G network
- It will allow Airtel Africa to efficiently manage its capex spending for 4G network. The company operates a single RAN network, and majority of its sites already support the activation of the additional 10 MHz spectrum of 900 MHz.
- It will enable Airtel Africa to expand its fixed wireless broadband offering.
Airtel’s increasing revenues
In its financial report, Airtel Nigeria announced that its revenue increased by 23.6%. From March to December, the telco grossed N358.2 billion, representing a significant increase from the N289.8 billion reported for the same period in 2018.
Airtel Nigeria had 50.1 million active voice subscriptions and 34.5 million data subscriptions at the end of 2019. From voice and data subscriptions, the telco realized N221.7 billion , N113.4 billion respectively.
The number of subscribers on the network increased by 8.9%, leading to 13.9% in voice revenue generated by the company.
“Data revenue growth was driven by the increase in the data customer base, as a result of the growth in the 4G network rollout and data ARPU growth. The data customer base grew by 12.2 per cent driven by the accelerated rollout of our 4G network-as of 31 December 2019, 63.7 per cent of the total sites are 4G.”Airtel
With the increasing penetration of 4G network as shown by the revenue report, Airtel’s additional spectrum in the 900MHz band is coming at the right time.
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