Duo prepare to enter Nigerian telecoms market

13 Aug 2009

Nigerian newspaper Business Day reports that two CDMA operators are preparing to enter the country’s telecoms market, namely Intercellular under the ‘Expresso’ banner and O Mobile. Nigerian fixed-wireless operator Intercellular was established in 1998, providing services over a CDMA IS-95 network in Lagos using the 800MHz band. In May 2006 it was awarded one of the first new unified access service (UAS) licences, allowing the company to operate in both the fixed and mobile arenas. In December 2007 Expresso Telecom, the international investment arm of Sudanese telco Sudatel, paid USD50 million for a 70% stake in Intercellular in December 2007 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.

Meanwhile, Prestel Satellite Communications, operating as O-Mobile, is also set to launch services. The report states that the company previously operated in Edo State but is believed to have been bought up by a local business family, which has a large stake in one of Nigeria’s 25 consolidated banks. The telecoms company is also in possession of a UAS licence and will also deploy a CDMA network.