Business News of Tuesday, 3 October 2017
The National Communications Authority has given approval for the merger between Airtel (Bharti Ghana Limited) and Tigo (Millicom Ghana Limited) to proceed subject to some conditions.
According to an official statement from the NCA, the merger will result in an entity which will be the second largest mobile network operator in the country.
The statement says, the merger, which was first announced in March this year, required the NCA to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the application and the regulatory ecosystem.
To ensure efficient and equitable distribution and access to the spectrum, the merged entities will have to submit a network integration plan to the Authority which will indicate how they intend to relinquish portions of their total spectrum allocation.
This, however, will be done in phases on geographical area basis and over a period not exceeding eighteen (18) months to avoid disruptions on the network.
On the issue of numbers, the merged entity shall retain all the numbering resources held by the merging entities. The NCA has also requested the merged entity to submit a plan to educate customers about changes and related measures within 30 days from date of merger.
The merger approval is also conditioned with an option for Government participation. Based on agreements which have been accepted by the merging entities and the payment of relevant fees, a supplementary agreement to the licenses of the merging entities will be signed between the NCA and the merging entities; the day of the signing of the agreement will be the effective date of the merger.
The merged entity will have a 3G License valid until 25th January, 2024 while their 2G License will be valid until 30th October, 2021.
The NCA wishes to assure all stakeholders, especially consumers, that their various interests will be protected and that the Authority will endeavor to maintain stability within the industry.