Barring any unforeseen circumstances the two telecom firms that won the 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum otherwise called 5G auction conducted by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has got the final approval to begin rollout of the service. In line with the terms and conditions of the 5G licence, the licensees are expected to commence rollout of 5G services, effective from August 24, 2022.
A statement from the NCC disclosed that management of the Commission led by its Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, confirmed this to the Board of Commissioners at a ‘Special board meeting.’ The Commission published a Public Notice on its decision to award two lots of 100MHz Time Division Duplex (TDD) available in the 3.5 GHz band through an auction process, to support the delivery of ubiquitous broadband services for the deployment of 5G technology in Nigeria.
Subsequently, an Information Memorandum (IM) was issued on November 10, 2021, in which Bid Applications for the available spectrum lots were invited. By the deadline for receipt of applications on November 29, 2021, the Commission received applications from three licensed telecommunications companies, namely: Airtel Networks Limited, Mafab Communications Limited, and MTN Communications Nigeria Plc.
The Auction held successfully on Monday, December 13, 2021, at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja with the three bidders competing for the available two lots in which the Commission adopted the Ascending Clock Auction format that ended after Round 11, and proceeded to the Assignment Stage.
In the auction, MTN and Mafab emerged provisional licence winners and arising from this, the winning bid price for the auction was put at $273.6 million for each lot of 100 MHz TDD. The Provisional licence winners were then directed to pay the Winning Bid Price less the Intention-to-Bid Deposit, by February 24, 2022.