Etisalat challenges MTN spectrum use

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

Etisalat Nigeria says it has brought a legal action against MTN Nigeria and Visafone Ltd. challenging MTN’s use of the 800MHZ spectrum following the acquisition of Visafone.

The telco said its action is considered necessary to prevent the use of the spectrum by MTN at this time, as it will entrench the dominance of MTN in the retail data services market. You will recall that MTN Nigeria was declared dominant by the Nigerian Communications Commission ‘NCC’ in 2013 and remains dominant in the wholesale leased line and retail voice markets. 

It averred that the use of the 800MHz spectrum to deploy broadband services ahead of its competitors, particularly those who prior to MTNs purchase of Visafone, held similar spectrum bands as MTN, will further entrench MTN’s dominance in the Nigerian telecommunications sector.

"We have in addition and in line with Section 86 of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003 engaged the NCC to understand the basis of its decision to approve the acquisition.

"As you are aware, the matter is already in court as such, we are restrained from commenting further on the matter," Etisalat explained.

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