Arising from Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) meeting held yesterday, there is no guarantee Teleology Holdings Ltd. will take over 9mobile after it had made a non-refundable deposit of $50 million for the acquisition of the Nigeria’s fourth largest mobile operator.
This is so as the Executive Vice-Chairman of the Commission, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta at the meeting on Monday in Lagos said the NCC will not approve the sale of 9mobile to any bidder without technical competence.
He, however, confirmed a preferred bidder for 9mobile had emerged with the full participation of NCC, adding that the bidder was already undergoing financial evaluation.
“Once the Central Bank of Nigeria has done the financial evaluation of the bidder, NCC will also examine the technical capacity of the preferred bidder.
“If the financial evaluation process was not done properly, the CBN would address questions on that; the examination process is meant to be open and transparent.
“The board of 9mobile was given the mandate with these requirements in mind,” he said.
One of the technical requirements is that the eventual owner of 9mobile should have a certain technical expertise with a minimum of 3 years operational history which from all indications Teleology Holdings Ltd. is lacking.
However, Teleology has entered an alliance with Safaricom, the largest network operator in East Africa, which could put Teleology in an advantaged position.
If eventually, Teleology doesn’t get 9mobile, it means Smile Communication as the preserved bidder gets the offer.
At the meeting, Danbatta also confirmed the NCC had licensed four infracos.
“Recently, Zinox Technology Ltd. was licensed for broadband infrastructure provisioning for the South-East Zone while Brinks Integrated Solutions Ltd. was issued licence for the North-East Zone.
“A subsidiary of MainOne Cable Company Ltd. had earlier been licensed to provide services in Lagos.
“IHS was also issued a licence to cover the North-Central Zone including Abuja,” he said.
Danbatta said that much work would still need to be done in the deployment of 4G LTE infrastructure needed to support data services.
“For now, the directive is that 3G should be made 4G LTE infrastructure compatible,’’ he said.
Danbatta said that telecommunications contributed N1.45 trillion to the Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2017.
He said that the figure rose to N1.5 trillion in the second quarter of 2017 in spite of economic recession.
According to Danbatta, telecommunications industry had investment worth $70 billion at September 2017 although the sector could not boast of $50 million worth of investments as at 2001.