Like I said at the time, the acquisition is more about the technology Visafone has (which includes a 4G LTE license) than acquiring the 2.2 million customers Visafone still has on its network and that was confirmed in a statement released by MTN on the acquisition which reads in part:
“As we work to maximise our data capabilities towards achieving broadband of international quality, our objective is to ensure that Nigerians experience a boost in the quality of broadband Internet services translating to the much-needed enhanced data speeds and value to enhance personal and business productivity.”
If that’s not a big enough hint that the license and spectrum is the play in focus, leadership reports that MTN has let all the staff at the company go except the transmission team in charge of keeping the network up and running and plans to migrate the Visafone subscribers to its own network. The report also says that the NCC put its squabbles with MTN aside to approve the acquisition, which basically is the last bit of the transaction.
Now, the bit that interests me is that while the news hasn’t exactly been on the front burner, it is a huge deal. Two years ago, I wrote about MTN’s migration from its TDMA based network to one which is IP based and even explained on our first podcast the difference between the old and the new (in a nutshell, IP based networks are faster, more efficient, handle load better and most importantly, compatible with LTE networks).
This means that at this very moment, MTN has both the technology, network assets (and coverage) and license to deploy 4G LTE nationwide. I doubt it will be very long before we see them start to rollout 4G LTE services, and I have high hopes it will happen this year.
Cheers to fast data.