"The license acquisition is also a significant indicator of Airtel's long-term commitment to provide revolutionary telecommunications services across Africa and in Niger. This will help accelerate the growth opportunities presented by 3G technology," Airtel Africa CEO Christian de Faria said in a statement.

Airtel now has 3G licences in all its 17 African nations and commercially operational in 15, with Niger and Chad in progress.

The granting of the 3G network licence by telecom regulator Autorite de Regulation Multisectorielle (ARM) will allow Airtel Niger to offer new services such as high speed mobile Internet, video-telephony and music downloads.

Africa is a key market for Airtel and the company is investing significantly to enabling small and medium enterprises (SMEs) benefit from or offer telecoms services across the region, the statement said.

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