CDMA Revival Threatened as Etisalat Sues MTN over Acquisition of Visafone
Etisalat Nigeria has brought a legal action against MTN Nigeria and Visafone Limited, challenging MTN’s use of the 800MHZ spectrum following the acquisition of Visafone. This development may scuttle every attempt by the Nigerian Communications Commission to revamp the dying CDMA genre of telecoms in Nigeria.
According to a statement released by Etisalat, “the action is considered necessary to prevent the use of the spectrum by MTN at this time, as it will entrench the dominance of MTN in the retail data services market.”
MTN Nigeria was declared dominant by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in 2013 and remains dominant in the wholesale leased line and retail voice markets.
Etisalat Nigeria says it believes that the use of the 800MHz spectrum to deploy broadband services ahead of its competitors, particularly those who prior to MTN’s purchase of Visafone, held similar spectrum bands as MTN, will further entrench MTN’s dominance in the Nigerian telecoms sector.
“We have in addition and in line with Section 86 of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003 engaged the NCC to understand the basis of its decision to approve the acquisition,” the statement read.
The case is already in court, as such the company states that it is restrained from commenting further on the matter.