Nigerian fixed-wireless operator Intercellular plans to relaunch CDMA services in the country by the fourth quarter of 2009, writes NigeriaExchange News. In December 2007 Expresso Telecom, the international investment arm of Sudanese telco Sudatel, paid USD50 million for a 70% stake in Intercellular and pledged to rebuild the company’s operations from the ground up. The new investor also announced it would inject USD100 million annually in the company over the next five years, commencing in January 2008.
Intercellular was established in 1998, providing services over a CDMA IS-95 network in Lagos using the 800MHz band. By 2003 it had expanded services to five states, and that year it engaged US vendor Motorola to build a CDMA2000 1x network across 20 cities. In May 2006 it was awarded one of the first of the Nigerian Communications Commission’s (NCC’s) new unified access service (UAS) licence. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, the operator had a total of just 38,199 CDMA subscribers at the end of 2008, down from 83,423 only six months earlier. Intercellular plans to attract 1.5 million users in its first year of operations.