Telecommunications giant MTN is continuing to pursue some very ambitious plans for Africa. Its latest commitment is to expand broadband access across Nigeria.
In fact, MTN Nigeria plans to invest 640 billion naira (approximately $1.5 billion) over the next three years to expand broadband access, in line with the Nigerian federal government’s 2020-2025 National Broadband Plan and in support of the MTN Group strategy called Ambition 2025.
It’s not too surprising an idea given the fact that Nigeria is one of the company’s most important markets, a fact acknowledged by MTN group president and chief executive officer Ralph Mupita during a three-day visit to Abuja and Lagos, in which he and MTN colleagues met a number of senior government figures, including the president, Muhammadu Buhari.
The MTN delegation reiterated MTN’s support for Nigeria’s plans to secure 90 percent broadband population coverage by 2025. It also welcomed Nigeria’s plans to auction 500MHz of 5G spectrum – five blocks of 100MHz in the 3500MHz band – which, Mupita said, would facilitate accelerated broadband access.
As we reported earlier today, the Nigerian federal government has raised an 18-member team to map out plans for Nigeria's 5G spectrum auctions after the senate decided no health concerns were involved.
The MTN Group has other big plans including selling down 14 percent of MTN Nigeria to Nigerian investors. Mupita also indicated that, to mark the 20th anniversary of MTN’s operations in Nigeria, MTN Nigeria plans to build a new flagship headquarters in Lagos.
Mupita and his colleagues have been very busy of late. The Nigerian visit follows announcements of MTN plans to launch OpenRAN in Africa, a commitment of $25 million to develop Ghana’s digital ecosystem and the possibility of a renewed attempt to win a mobile operator license in Ethiopia.