South Africa’s MTN Group, owners of MTN Nigeria, have cosncluded the acquisition of Visafone Communications Limited, a Nigerian mobile phone company, following an approval granted by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Technology Times learnt today that both parties finally signed off on the deal late 2015 to pave way for the MTN’s purchase of Visafone’s CDMA network, after a regulatory approval by the telecoms regulator, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
While telecoms companies the world over enter into merger and acquisition agreements, regulatory approvals are required for the transfer of shareholdings, frequency spectrum and other licences granted by government.
Nigeria’s NCC approved the MTN-Visafone deal in the last quarter of 2015, when it became apparent that the deal will pave way for increased deployment of broadband services across the country, people conversant with situation at the Abuja-based government agency told Technology Times.
As at this morning, both companies were not commenting on the deal but our checks reveal that a massive network synergy is underway to seamlessly migrate all Visafone subscribers onto the MTN Nigeria network.
Under the plan, over two million existing Visafone subscribers will be migrated onto the MTN Nigeria network, a development that will now enable them use their voice and data services, anywhere where the latter has network coverage.
Telecoms industry sources confirmed that Visafone became attractive to MTN with plans by the latter to expand its investment into broadband services through the rollout of 4G LTE services that offers enhanced triple play of voice, data and video.
A key industry source told Technology Times that another juicy part of the acquisition is the valuable Visafone’s 800MHz spectrum frequency that will now be integrated into MTN’s network to boost the latter’s voice and data offerings, the two areas of keen competition in the telecoms market.
Under the new deal, while over two million Visafone customers will now leverage the relatively expansive nationwide reach of MTN, the acquisition signal new possibilities for broadband penetration in Nigeria.
With Visafone’s 800MHz spectrum frequency added to the kitty of MTN, the latter will not only be able to boost its current voice and broadband data services, but will now be positioned for the launch of 4G LTE services on its network.
The Visafone Communication Limited brand, which is the leader in the Code Division and Multiple Access (CDMA) network segment was founded by Mr. Jim Ovia, the influential banker behind Zenith Bank and a key technology industry investor and player.