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Tigo & Airtel Finally Gets NCA Approval for Merger

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The National Communications Authority (NCA) has finally given approval for the merger between Bharti Ghana Limited (Airtel) and Millicom Ghana Limited (Tigo) to proceed subject to some conditions.

A statement from NCA said “Based on agreements, which have been accepted by the merging entities and the payment of relevant fees, a supplementary agreement to the licences 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 merger, which was first announced in March this year, required the regulator to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the application and the regulatory ecosystem.

The NCA said “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.”

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This, however, will be done in phases on geographical area basis and over a period not exceeding 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.

But the NCA has also requested the merged entity to submit a plan to educate customers about changes and related measures within 30 days from the date of merger.

“The merger approval is also conditioned with an option for Government participation,” the statement said.

The merged entity will have a 3G Licence valid until January 25, 2024, while their 2G Licence will be valid until October 30, 2021.

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The merger will result in an entity which will be the second largest mobile network operations in the country.

“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,” the statement said.

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