MTN and 9Mobile will ask for Nigerian regulatory permission for an agreement to let customers share their networks according to report.
According to 9mobile CEO Alan Sinfield, a first-of-its-kind pilot free roaming scheme that allows customers of each company to switch to the network of the other where its own has no coverage has run smoothly in Ondo State.
Both companies are seeking permission from Nigerian regulatory agencies for a full roaming agreement.
The facility, provided at no extra charge, would key into a roaming provision that is gaining ground in Africa and other parts of the world.
Since January, travelers in the Economic Community of West African States have been able to roam without paying charges, an end-result of a 2020 agreement to end roaming charges.
The need for cooperation extends to fibre-optic cables, says Sinfield. Companies “should not be digging up the same hole” one after another, and 9Mobile has agreements in place with its competitors to avoid this happening, he says. More active network-sharing is needed, he adds. “We still have a long way to go.”
- The company plans to upgrade its network by investing in sites, servers and storage.
- This year’s expansion is covered by existing financing, says Sinfield.
In August, 9Mobile secured a payment service bank licence from Nigeria’s central bank. 9PSB, a 9Mobile subsidiary, was launched at the end of November.