MTN Nigeria’s Mobile License Renewed Despite $5b Fine

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has approved the renewal of MTN’s licence despite the $5b fine the firm has been given by the regulator further indicating its willingness to negotiate to resolve the matter.

The license extension notification was contained in a letter dated 2 November 2015 and MTN said it’s set to pay the sum of US$94m as a spectrum fee for the 5-year extension period by no later than 31 December 2015.

MTN Group announced, “The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has approved the renewal, and consequent extension of the tenure of MTN’s operating spectrum in the 900MHz and 1800MHz frequency bands. With this renewal and extension, MTN’s operating spectrum which was issued along with the Digital Mobile License (DML) in 2001 (with an original expiry date of February 2016), has now been extended to 31 August 2021.”

The license renewal and extension was unexpted as the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) had imposed a $5 billion fine on MTN Nigeria over the timing of the disconnection of 5.1 million subscribers in August and September.

Though the firm said it is in discussions with the NCC to resolve the matter, the willingness to renew MTN’s operator license gives the firm hope and shows the matter will be resolved ammicably soon.