MTN, on Tuesday, said the Nigerian regulator has renewed its operating spectrum and extended the operating licence for Africa’s biggest mobile company to 2021 at a cost of $94.2m.
MTN, which had a $5.2bn fine imposed on it by the Nigerian Communication Commission last week for failing to deregister SIM cards in its largest market, said it had received confirmation from the regulator that its operating spectrum in the 900MHz and 1800MHz frequency bands had been renewed.
MTN’s operating spectrum and its digital mobile licence were issued in 2001, and both were due to expire in February 2016.
Both have now been extended to August 31 2021, the company said.
“We view this extension as a demonstration of confidence in MTN’s capacity to continue to provide groundbreaking and innovative services to its customers,” MTN’s corporate affairs executive, Akinwale Goodluck, said in a separate statement.
Shares in MTN, which earns 37% of its revenue from Nigeria, have dropped 25% since the fine was announced last week, and South Africa’s bourse on Monday suspended trading in its stock for a few hours.
The company’s shares recovered somewhat in early trade on the bourse, advancing 0.9% to R149.50.
The company’s largest shareholder, the Public Investment Corporation, said it was concerned about MTN’s alleged noncompliance with Nigerian telecommunications regulations and the allegations that MTN’s management did not immediately disclose material information to the market.
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