A number of industry stakeholders have lashed out against Smile Communications for what appears as its growing desperation to disparage the 9Mobile bid process, having lost out in the bid.
It may be recalled that Smile Communications had alongside some other organizations including Helios, Glo, Airtel and Teleology, been prequalified for the final stage of bidding for 9Mobile.
Teleology came tops at the final stage and was appointed preferred bidder.
Ever since it became clear that Teleology had been declared preferred bidder, Smile Communications has consistently issued all manner of disinformation and misleading communications to disparage the bid process and attack the integrity of the winners of the bid.
Its latest gambit has been to issue a press release where it claims that government functionaries are yet to acknowledge receipt of the non-refundable payment of $50m made by Teleology in fulfillment of the terms of acquiring 9Mobile.
Many industry stakeholders have decried the approach of Smile Communications as “unprofessional.”
According to Tunde Jaiyeola an analyst who has followed the sale of 9Mobile keenly, “Smile Communication can only boast of 70,000 subscribers in Nigeria. This is a market where they have operated since 2009. So in 9 years they were only able to acquire 70,000 subscribers yet they want Nigerians to believe that they have the ability to take over a network of more than 17million subscribers.”
Another commentator counseled Smile to bid their time and await their turn. “If the company is destined to have a GSM license in Nigeria then their turn will come, but not by peddling lies and misinformation about other players. That approach is infantile and unprofessional. You do not win licenses by peddling lies and falsehood,” he said.