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Airtel debuts 4G LTE in Niger republic

11 Jul 2019

Airtel debuts 4G LTE in Niger republic

Telecoms operator Airtel has launched Niger republic's first 4G LTE network, almost a year after it paid US$22-million for its 4G license.

In May 2018, ITWeb Africa reported Airtel Niger paid CFA12-billion (approximately US$22-million) for Niger's first 4G license, bringing the total amount the operator spent on telecoms licenses (including 2G and 3G) to CFA46-billion (approximately US$82-million).

The 4G network is available nationally, making Niger the first country in Africa where Airtel's 4G network is available nationwide from launch.

Airtel described the feat as "a new chapter in the telecommunications revolution in Niger".

At the official launch ceremony in Niamey, Sani Maigochi, Niger republic's Minister of Posts, Telecommunications and Digital Economy, said the launch is in line with the government's vision for the digitisation of the country.

Airtel Niger chief executive officer Pierre Canton-Bacara said: "Airtel's 4G LTE network will undoubtedly trigger a new phase of accelerated, equitable and inclusive economic growth, thanks to the increase in broadband services."

With 4G, the Nigerien government is hoping it would spur the revitalisation of the telecoms sector, improve digital services and accelerate the slow growth rate of the local telecoms sector – specifically to help achieve the goal of 70% penetration by 2020.

Airtel is the dominant player in Niger's telecoms sector, controlling more than half of the market share according to the Regulatory Authority for Telecommunications and the Post (ARTP).

Other players are Atlantique Telecom Niger SA, Orange Niger SA and Niger Telecom SA.

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