Despite the fine levied by NCC on Africa’s Leading mobile phone operator, MTN, the telecommunication company has acquired Visafone. Visafone was the only surviving Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) operator in Nigeria and since it has been acquired by MTN, it is safe to say that CDMA is dead in Nigeria.
Although MTN hasn’t given any official statement in regards the deal, it has been confirmed and no actual cost of acquisation has been stated yet. However, sources has it that:
“It’s certainly a multimillion naira deal because Visafone was the largest CDMA operator in the country. The acquisition is expected to ensure high quality data services and improve mobile broadband experience for subscribers of Visafone and MTN. The merger is also expected to provide the much-needed relief to the booming internet economy by making available quality mobile broadband services adopting the state of the art 4G LTE technologies during the year.”
According to PunchNG, it was disclosed that after acquisition of the last CDMA operator in Nigeria, MTN has laid-off 2000 Visafone workers.
The workers were laid off with effect from January 5, 2016 and were paid three month salary in advance to serve as severance package.
According to one of the workers affected who spoke on condition of anonymity:
“We learnt that the management would downsize, but we were told that that would be later in 2016. It is, however, surprising that they are sending majority of us away so early in the year. Though they paid three months’ severance benefits, but should it be this way?
“Some of us have put in five to 10 years of our lives in keeping the business going, but see what we are getting now. It is well.”
A senior management employee at Visafone confirmed the sacking but refused saying anything on the matter asking that questions be referred to MTN Nigeria whom also neither confirmed nor denied the deal but stated that the management was in the works of releasing an official statement to clarify the issue.
For those who are or should i say, ‘were’ still flexing the visafone 1TB plan for just N1000, it’s sad to note that the plan ‘has’ or ‘will’ be discontinued.