Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Airtel Africa, Segun Ogunsanya has played down the company’s failure to win the recently held 5G spectrum auction in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest market.
Ogunsanya had thrown his weight behind the company’s decision to pull out of the 5G spectrum auction.
1st News reports that the keenly-contested auction had seen bids surpass $270 million per operator.
Despite the development which many experts see as a factor that may see competitors gain an advantage in the market; the Airtel CEO is unflustered. Specifically, Ogunsanya has disclosed that Airtel retains ample capacity to meet customer demand.
He made this known in a statement released to the media on Friday, December 17, 2021.
Ogunsanya stated that the business case for 5G deployment across sub-Saharan Africa is still evolving; while also noting that Airtel Africa remains committed to driving broadband capacity in various markets.
“Airtel Africa retains ample capacity, spread across various spectrum bands, in Nigeria and its other markets; to continue to meet the growing data demands of our customers for many years to come.
“In addition, there are several potential routes available to the business to deliver even greater capacities, cost-effectively, in the long run,’’ he stated.
Additionally, he revealed that Airtel Africa would continue to track the 5G ecosystem; even as he highlighted the relevance of affordable handsets supporting 5G technology and development of locally important use cases.
1st News reports that the Nigerian government; through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) had recently concluded an auction of 5G-suitable spectrum. The auction had been conducted for interested players in the telecommunications industry. However, Airtel, which is widely regarded as one of the leading players in the industry, had missed out on the two allocations on offer.
The two allocations had been won by MTN Group and Mafab Communications for $273.6 million each.