MTN Group has awarded a contract to Ericsson to manage four networks in Nigeria for five years. The agreement is for MTN networks in Lagos, Abuja, Enugu and Port Harcourt in the most populous African nation, where MTN is the largest operator with 45 million subscribers. MTN would now be able to focus more on customer experience, while Ericsson would become MTN’s largest managed services partner in Africa, Ericsson said this week. MTN and rivals have clashed previously with the Nigerian Communications Commission over poor quality of service on cellular networks. In 2012, MTN and Etisalat were each fined 360 million naira (about R24m at yesterday’s exchange rate). In November last year, MTN signed a contract with Ericsson and Chinese networking and telecoms equipment firm Huawei to maintain its Nigerian network. Ericsson’s core business is building and running networks. It said 40 percent of the traffic in Africa was channelled through its equipment. – Bloomberg, Reuters and Asha Speckman