November 3, 2015

MTN renews operating spectrum, licence with $94.2 m

Johannesburg – South Africa’s MTN on Tuesday said the Nigerian regulator had renewed its operations and licence up to 2021 at a cost of 94.2 million dollars .

MTN said that it received confirmation from the regulator that its operating spectrum in the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz frequency bands had been renewed.

There were media reports recently that MTN had a 5.2 billion dollars’ fine imposed on it by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for failing to deregister SIM cards in its largest market.

MTN’s operating spectrum and digital mobile licence were issued in 2001, and both were due to expire in February 2016.

Both have now been extended to Aug.31, 2021, the firm said.

“We view this extension as a demonstration of confidence in MTN’s capacity to continue to provide ground-breaking and innovative services to its customers,’’ Akinwale Goodluck, said in a separate statement.

Goodluck is MTN’s corporate affairs executive.

Shares in MTN, which earns 37 per cent of its revenue from Nigeria, dropped by 25 per cent since the fine was announced last week.

South Africa’s bourse on Monday suspended trading in its stock for a few hours.
The firm’s shares recovered somewhat in early trade on the bourse, advancing 0.9 percent to 149.50 rand.

The company’s largest shareholder, South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation, said it was concerned about MTN’s alleged non-compliance with telecommunications regulations of Nigeria.

The allegation was that MTN’s management did not immediately disclose material information to the market.