Abu Dhabi investment vehicle awarded Nigerian licence

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) confirmed the receipt of full payment of US$400 million by the UAE's Mubadala Development Company for the award of a unified access service licence in the country

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By  Administrator Published  February 1, 2007

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) confirmed the receipt of full payment of US$400 million by the UAE's Mubadala Development Company for the award of a unified access service licence in the country.

"The NCC is pleased to announce the award of a unified access service licence to the Mubadala Development Company of the United Arab Emirates, having confirmed the payment of the full licence fee of US$400million before the close of business on January 19, 2007," said Dave Imoko, spokesman of the NCC.

The unified licence consists of permission to operate a mobile network in GSM 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrum bands. The NCC introduced a unified licensing regime in March last year, for the first time allowing operators of wireless local loop operations to roam across wide licence areas. Four unified licences were awarded in May that year, with about two-dozen companies having applied for the concessions.

The Nigerian government has outlined a strict timeline for Mubadala to work to, stating that the company must establish its network infrastructure and commence commercial services in the next 12 months.

Mubadala Development Company is a wholly owned investment vehicle of the government of Abu Dhabi, established in October 2002, and has interests across a variety of sectors including utilities, real estate, public-private partnerships and telecommunications. The award of the licence to Mubadala is part of a wider bilateral agreement between Nigeria and the UAE that will see further investment.

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