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MTN Nigeria, 9Mobile test network sharing

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is encouraging network resource sharing among local operators and has given MTN Nigeria and 9Mobile the green light to trial a national roaming service in the west African country.

The NCC announced on Sunday that it had granted approval for the two mobile operators to carry out a roaming service trial. The trial approval covers a few local governments in Ondo State.

It seems the testing has already been going on for almost three months, with the approval given for the trial from August 1, 2020, to October 31, 2020. The operators involved are MTN Nigeria and the Emerging Markets Telecommunication Service Limited (EMTS), which trades as 9Mobile in Nigeria.

MTN Nigeria and 9Mobile are trialing a national roaming service in Ondo State.
MTN Nigeria and 9Mobile are trialing a national roaming service in Ondo State.

The roaming service enables a mobile subscriber to automatically make and receive voice calls, send and receive data, or access other services when traveling outside a particular network geographical area by utilizing the network coverage of another network.

NCC's executive vice chairman, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, said in a statement that increased network resource sharing in Nigeria will lead to operational expenditure optimization and capital expenditure efficiencies. This will hopefully free up resources to expand mobile network coverage to unserved and underserved communities across the country and lead to improved quality of service delivery to subscribers.

MTN is Nigeria's biggest mobile operator, with around 71 million subscribers at the end of June 2020, while 9Mobile is the smallest with around 12 million users, according to statistics from market research company Omdia.

Yesterday, MTN also announced that long-serving MTN Nigeria CEO Ferdi Moolman will be returning to South Africa to take up the role of group chief risk officer in March 2021 and Karl Toriola will take over as CEO in Nigeria.

— The Staff, Connecting Africa

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