Etisalat's Nigeria unit fined more than $2m

Operator penalised for failing to meet minimum service standards in African
Nigeria's telecoms regulator is fining Etisalat Nigeria over the standard of its services in the country.
Nigeria's telecoms regulator is fining Etisalat Nigeria over the standard of its services in the country.

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UAE-based telco Etisalat has been fined more than $2 million for failing to meet minimum service standards in Nigeria.

The Nigerian Communications Commission said it has fined the country’s mobile-phone operators a cumulative 1.17 billion naira ($7.4m).

MTN Group, the largest operator, and Emirates Telecommunications Corp, also known as Etisalat, were each fined 360 million naira ($2.28m), while Bharti Airtel must pay a 270 million naira penalty and Globacom was fined 180 million naira, Bloomberg reported.

The penalties must be paid by May 21 or an additional 2.5 million naira will be charged for each day over the deadline, it said.

The Nigerian arm of UAE based telecom Etisalat said in 2010 it would spend up to $500 million on its network next year, as it looks to double its customer base to 12 million.

Etisalat faces stiff competition in Africa's most populous nation from South Africa's MTN Group and India's Bharti Airtel.

Etisalat started full commercial services in Nigeria in October 2008 after buying a 40% stake in a new Nigerian telephone operator from Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Development Co.

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