Globacom Nigeria to Expand Phone Network With $1.25 Billion

Globacom Ltd., Nigeria’s second- biggest mobile phone provider, said it’s investing $1.25 billion to upgrade and expand its network infrastructure to improve voice and data services.

The Lagos-based company signed a $750 million pact with China’s Huawei Technologies Co. and another $500 million accord with ZTE Corp. (000063), also of China, according to an e-mailed statement today from Bode Opeseyitan, a spokesman.

“With the planned expansion, Globacom’s network capacity will increase in many folds, thus enabling it to carry high level of data in addition to other improvements in voice services,” Chief Operating Officer Mohammed Jameel said in the statement.

Nigerian mobile phone operators are investing in their networks to overcome frequent power cuts and the sabotage of facilities in the country’s mainly Muslim north, where Islamist militants target telecommunications companies for helping the authorities to track them. MTN Nigerian Communication Ltd., a unit of Johannesburg-based MTN Group Ltd. (MTN) and the country’s biggest mobile phone provider, said last week it got a $3 billion loan from a group of 24 local and foreign lenders to upgrade infrastructure.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation with more than 160 million people, had about 117 million active mobile and fixed phone lines as of February, according to the industry regulator, the Nigeria Communications Commission. Globacom is the second- biggest network with 24 million subscribers as of the end of last year, according to data on the NCC’s website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elisha Bala-Gbogbo in Abuja at ebalagbogbo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dulue Mbachu at dmbachu@bloomberg.net

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