Etisalat Nigeria buys local firm with 3G licence

The Nigerian arm of UAE-based Etisalat revealed it has bought a local telecoms firm with a 3G licence to help it develop its data and broadband services and compete with other GSM operators.

The Gulf's number two telecoms group said the acquisition of Alheri Mobile Services Ltd would enable Etisalat Nigeria to better compete with its main rivals in Africa's most populous nation, home to more than 140 mn people.

"We are delighted to acquire the 3G licence, which is an essential element of our plans for further developing the market for mobile broadband in Nigeria," Chief Executive Steven Evans said. He did not disclose the cash value of the deal.

"There is pent-up demand in Nigeria for broadband, and we intend to be the leader in satisfying it," he said.

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