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Monday, December 06, 2010

Etisalat explains acquisition of Alheri’s 3G license

Following conclusion of discussions between Emerging Market Telecommunications Service (EMTS) trading under the name of Etisalat Nigeria, has bought over the Third Generation (3G) license belonging to Alheri Mobile Services Limited.

Alheri Mobile Services Limited is a fully owned subsidiary of Dangote Group, Alheri Mobile is a holder of a 3G license for Nigeria.

Etisalat also said that the 3G services would be up and running commercially by mid 2011.

Confirming this to Champion Infotech, the chief executive officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Steven Evans said that the agreed purchase of the license concludes the acquisition process, which puts Etisalat Nigeria in the position of having immediate access to the full use of a 3G license alongside other three Global System for Mobile (GSM) communications operators in Nigeria, including Glo, MTN and Airtel.

Mr. Evans noted that Etisalat was delighted to acquire the 3G license, which is an essential element of its plans for further developing the market for mobile broadband in Nigeria.

“We have placed a strong emphasis on offering data services to all our customers from launch through enabling edge on all our cell sites throughout Nigeria. Now with 3G, we can further develop our data and mobile broadband portfolio and offer our customers even higher levels of service. There is pent-up demand in Nigeria for Broadband and we intend to be leaders in satisfying it,” he said.

Equally commenting, the chairman, EMTS, Mr. Hakeem Bello Osagie said the acquisition of the 3G license is the professional way in which the negotiations were led by Mr. Aliko Dangote and his team.

”We look forward to further cooperation in the future," he said.

Managing Director, Alheri Mobile and Head of Dangote’s telecommunications arm, Mr. Boye Olusanya, said it makes sense for his firm to sell Alheri Mobile to Etisalat Nigeria as they believe that the market could only be sustained in the medium to long term.

“We intend to use the capital raised to develop our other assets in the telecommunications market and we look forward to continuing to deepen our relationship with Etisalat Nigeria,” he said.

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