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Wednesday, Oct 16th

Airtel paid US$22m for Niger's first 4G license

Airtel paid Um for Niger's first 4G license

Airtel Niger CEO Pierre Canton Bakara said the company paid CFA12 billion (approximately US$22 million) for its 4G license, bringing the total amount spend on telecoms licenses (including 2G and 3G) to CFA46 billion (approximately US$82 million).

Earlier in May Airtel secured Niger's first 4G license for an undisclosed amount at the time.

Bakara said the company is now ready to launch its 4G service.

There is a great deal of anticipation behind the launch, with the country's government confident it will revitalise the sector, improve digital services and accelerate the slow growth rate of the local telecoms sector – specifically to help achieve the goal of 70% penetration by 2020.

Bakara added, "We believe that 4G will unleash the potential of our populations, especially our youth who will more easily access educational, social and cultural content."

According to the company executive, its network reaches 264 communes out of a possible 266.

Airtel has 52% share of the market with approximately 4 million subscribers, and competes with Atlantique Telecom Niger SA, Orange Niger SA and Niger Telecom SA, according to the Regulatory Authority for Telecommunications and the Post (ARTP)

The country's mobile penetration rate stands at 38.63% while the internet connectivity/ penetration is at 19.06%.

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