The battle for the acquisition of troubled 9 Mobile, formerly Etisalat Nigeria, has just taken a new dimension as the list has been pruned down to two contenders. The list which previously had five contenders, including perceived favorite, Globacom Nigeria, now has Smile Telecoms and Teleology Holdings as the two finalists. Both companies are headed by former CEOs of Nigeria’s leading mobile telecoms provider, MTN and can be said to have the required experience and expertise for quality service delivery. Let’s look at how they compare to each other.
Smile Telecoms Holdings Limited, a Mauritius-based Pan-African telecommunications group with operations in Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was founded in 2007. The company has the largest sub-1 GHz 4G LTE commercial network in Africa, operating in the 800 MHz band, providing SuperFast and Reliable broadband services to its customers. As at 2015, Smile had the largest 4G LTE mobile broadband network in Africa and continues to expand its network coverage. In 2016, Smile launched its SuperClear voice, video and SMS services over LTE, enabling all its customers to use one data bundle for SuperFast broadband and SuperClear voice services. Smile has transitioned from a spectrum rich start-up to the most reliable data gigabyte factory in Sub-Sahara Africa.
Teleology Holdings Limited is a consortium put together as vehicle designed for the acquisition of 9 Mobile. The board of the company is made up of eminent Nigerians including frontline politicians, revered traditional rulers and notable business executives. Many have argued that the company lacks the required experience for the management of a company as big as 9 Mobile but having made it this far in a bid that included the likes Airtel and Globacom, such argument can only be said to hold little or no grounds