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Airtel says provision of 4G network driving growth in Nigeria, other African markets

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Airtel Africa Chief Executive, Segun Ogunsanya has said that the provision of fourth-generation (4G) Internet networks in its markets has been a key driver of revenue growth.

Ogunsanya, who disclosed that the telecom firm revenue grew 27.6 percent on a constant currency basis in the six months to the end of September, noted that mobile financial services, including cash transfers and payments, are also driving growth.

The firm expected to be boosted by rising demand for mobile broadband and phone-based financial services, as the firm posted sharp first-half earnings growth. said after.

The telecom firm, which operates in 14 African markets including Nigeria and Kenya, said earnings before interest, taxation and depreciation, a key income measure for telecom operators, jumped 38.5 percent in the same period.

The growth trajectory will continue, Ogunsanya said the results was driven by demand for a fifth of Africa’s population that still does not have access to mobile broadband.

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Referring to the continent’s typically young population, he said, “Most of these people are the mobile first, mobile only generation. They need mobile broadband to fully participate in the digital world.”

“More than half of adults in Africa do not have bank accounts. This reflects the scope available in running a mobile money business,” he said.

In Nigeria, which is Airtel’s largest market, the firm has applied for a license from the central bank to provide financial services.

“This is one of our key objectives, so it is especially important for us,” Ogunsanya said, adding that they were in “continuous talks” with the regulator.

African telecom executives say Nigeria is leaning towards a bank-led model to launch mobile financial services, unlike countries such as Kenya, where telecom operators such as Safaricom take the lead.

Airtel plans to reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions to zero before 2050, Ogunsanya said, and they will need their suppliers, including cellular towers, to follow the plan.

“We’re convinced it’s the right thing to do. It’s the best thing for the environment,” he said.

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