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Tingo Mobile acquires cable company to develop rural broadband in Nigeria

Nigerian phone manufacturer Tingo Mobile will pay US$25 million for a 51 percent stake in Mass Telecom Innovation Nigeria Plc (MTI) to develop rural broadband in Nigeria.

Tingo Mobile chief executive officer (CEO) Dozy Mmobuozi told Bloomberg in Lagos although MTI will be rebranded the company will remain listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

“We’re using the acquisition to reach out to the mass market,” Mmobuozi said. “Assets from MTI’s base stations to licence and goodwill and other things will help penetrate rural Nigeria.”

Tingo has also announced it is set to introduce three smartphones into the Nigerian market. According to the company, this is the first time its devices will be made available to the public rather than to just government or corporate customers.

The devices are the Tingo T5, T500 and T561 models, locally made devices that cost between NGN10,000 (US$61) to NGN18,000 (US$110).

The company also has a chat application that localises emoticons using Nigerian cultural references.

“In the next two months, we must have hit a 10 million subscriber base for our Tingo Chat app,” Mmobuozi said.
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