In 2007, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) issued 3G licences to four operators – MTN, Glo, Zain, and little-known Alheri. Since the issuance of the

Etisalat to buy 3G license off Alheri?

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In 2007, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) issued 3G licences to four operators – MTN, Glo, Zain, and little-known Alheri. Since the issuance of the licenses, the other three operators have deployed and now offer 3G-based services to millions of subscribers across the country.

etisalatBut not Alheri. Till date, the Dangote-owned company has nothing to show by way of deploying 3G services. However, Technology Times reports that Etisalat, the fourth GSM operator, is in talks with Alheri to buy the dormant 3G license.

If this pulls through, Etisalat will join the league of GSM networks offering 3G services, and the playing field become a little more level. Etisalat Nigeria currently deploys EDGE as a platform for delivering near-3G speeds. However, a 3G license will allow the youngest GSM operator to deploy HSDPA (3.5G) and HSUPA, delivering true broadband speeds to its fast-growing subscriber base.


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  1. I, all along, had a hunch that Alheri will sell that 3g licence. Indeed, news had been rife some months before now about talks between Alheri and Etisalat.

    Lets face it; how else could Etisalat cope? With Glo 1 and Main One to be lit up in the coming months ahead and other fiber cables in the works, broadband access should be ubiquitous in Nigeria in 2010 and beyond. Bundled plans will soon be the norm among many Nigerians. To make matters worse for Etisalat, lower interconnection rates as proposed by the NCC will most likely mean lower tariffs, lower average revenue per user (ARPU) and subsequently lower margins ahead. One way to make up is by offering data.

    With only EDGE Etisalat will be edged out, no doubt. After enjoying wow speeds of 800 – 3 Mbps on 3g, its easy to ask, why would anyone want less than 400 Mbps EDGE? This deal is a life saver for Etisalat. On Mr Dangote’s side, i hear he made a nice profit on this deal. It will help keep him in the Forbes list for 2010 (watch out Oprah!).

  2. Archie, when exactly is Glo 1 and Main 1 coming on board, when you said “With Glo 1 and Main 1 to be lit up in the coming months ahead” is that info from reliable sources?

  3. I think Dangote’s Alheri never intended to use it. You can say, they saw it coming and just positioned themselves. Or probably an insider trading like they would say in the stock market. in any way it still for the advantage of the consumers. Its simply a fair play deal, where all the operators would have the 3G technology so that we wont experience network collapse like in the banking sector world wide.

    Thanks to Dangote, may be if he never did hold it, one cant imagine what can come up in the future. Lets leave it as a good turn. I want to believe its so.

    Have a nice day…

  4. pls am a new entrant to this blog.I came across it yesterday chrismas day.Where can i get a 3g internet modem that works with all telecoms networks

  5. @ aruya

    go to any good telecoms shop and ask for an unlocked 3g modem. It should cost less than 10k. In Lagos check ikeja computer village, in Abuja Emab Plaza in Wuse II is a good place to start. After that come and search this site for configuration settings. Its has good info for newbies. Or better the shop assistants should be able to help.

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