MTN Nigeria kicks off IPO, while Airtel pushes through with 5G trial

MTN Nigeria kicked off its IPO for retail investors, placing 575 million of its shares up for grab, capped at $0.41 per share, according to the operator.

As such, MTN Group President and CEO Ralph Mupita said: “With this offer, we will contribute to the further deepening of Nigeria’s equity capital markets. It is the first in a series of transactions as the MTN Group implements its plans to ensure broad-based ownership by reducing its shareholding in MTN Nigeria to 65 percent over time.”

“We thank the Nigerian authorities for the support we as MTN Group have received in the various approvals related to this offer and remain committed to play our humble role in driving digital and financial inclusion across the country over the medium term,” he noted.

In addition, CommsUpdate reports that the minimum subscription will be for 20 shares, and that investors will be required to purchase shares in lots of 20, with a free share for each lot up to a maximum allocation of 250 free shares to each individual investor. It also noted that, in order to obtain this incentive, investors must hold their shares for a year following their allotment.

On the other hand, competitor operator Airtel Nigeria obtained clearance from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to conduct a proof of concept (PoC) 5G today in the capital of Abuja. The telco will use equipment from its “original equipment manufacturer” for the trial, with the NCC supervising.

Accordingly, the test is the second such trial to be conducted in Nigeria after MTN carried out PoC tests in November 2019 in several cities (Abeokuta, Abuja, Calabar, Ibadan, Kanoand Lagos) using trial spectrum in the 3.5GHz and 26GHz bands. In addition, MTN’s tests, which lasted three months, used equipment from Huwaei in Abuja, ZTE in Calabar and Ericsson in Lagos so that the NCC could evaluate the performance and compliance of each vendor’s equipment.

It is worth mentioning that Nigeria fastens the pace to join Kenya and South Africa to become one of the countries pioneering 5G deployment in Africa.

The country’s latest move earlier this month to prepare for national activation of 5G, occured when its communications agency signed a memorandum of understanding with communications satellite firm NigcomSat, to allow 5G services to ride on its C-band frequency spectrum.