MTN advertising ban lifted in recognition of network improvements

3 Nov 2008

Nigeria’s largest mobile operator by subscribers MTN has had a ban on advertising its services lifted by the sector regulator in recognition of improvements made to its network capacity and coverage, reports The Nigerian authorities had fined MTN USD20 million and banned it from advertising in an attempt to prevent it from overloading its network which was already reportedly stretched to capacity. MTN was driven to install an extra 524 base stations in the most recent quarter to the end of September 2008. According to the report, South Africa-based MTN Group committed capital spending of up to ZAR30.5 billion (USD3.1 billion) in the current fiscal year – double the previous year’s total – because its networks in Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana were not meeting standards. Of that, ZAR13 billion was earmarked for improvements in Nigeria and ZAR7 billion in South Africa. MTN, which served a total of 80.7 million mobile users at the end of September, had 20.1 million subscribers in Nigeria, its largest market, after achieving 9% year-on-year growth despite network congestion and the advertising ban. The company said in a statement on Friday that the quality of its services had improved significantly because of the concerted effort to roll out more infrastructure.

Nigeria, MTN Nigeria