The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has selected three telecom companies as qualified bidders for the license of Nigeria’s 5G spectrum, the telecom industry regulator announced Thursday.
In a statement signed by the Director, Public Affairs NCC, Ikechukwu Adinde, the Commission said MTN Nigeria Plc., Mafab Communications Limited and Airtel Networks Limited have so far been selected to bid for the 5G auction.
It also reaffirms the date and time of the Mock Auction, which is scheduled to hold on Friday, December 10, 2021 at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja by 11:00 a.m., while the Main Auction will hold on Monday, December 13, 2021.
“Consistent with its regulatory principle of open and transparent auction, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has announced that three telecoms companies have qualified as approved bidders of the forthcoming 3.5 gigahertz (Ghz) spectrum auction for the deployment of Fifth generation (5G) networks in the country.
“The qualified bidders that have met the criteria for participation in the licensing process of 3.5Ghz spectrum, including payment of the stipulated Intention to Bid Deposit (IBD) as outlined in the Information Memorandum (IM), are include MTN Nigeria Plc., Mafab Communications Limited and Airtel Networks Limited.
“Consequently, the stage is now set for the three companies to participate in the Main Auction as well as in the mandatory Mock Auction process, which will come as a precursor to the Main Auction.
“The Commission has also reaffirmed the dates for the conduct of both the Mock Auction and the Main Auction. The Mock Auction is scheduled to hold on Friday, December 10, 2021 at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja by 11:00 a.m., while the Main Auction will hold on Monday, December 13, 2021 at the same venue and at the same time,” the Commission said.
Nigeria is among a few countries in Africa leading the push for 5G deployment. Though the roll out had faced parliamentary questions earlier, borne out of safety concerns about 5G technology, the Senate later gave approval for the deployment.
NCC had last month, pegged the reserved price of the spectrum license at $197.4 million (N75 billion). The regulator said only licensees, who make down payment of 10 percent of the reserved bid price and with 100 per cent regulatory compliance would be allowed to participate in the auction while licensees with outstanding debts that have secured NCC’s approval for a payment plan will be allowed to participate in the auction.
The auction comes with a 10-year spectrum license and a minimum requirement of an operational Universal Access Service Licence (UASL). However, new entrants or licensees without a UASL will be required to obtain a UASL operational license to be qualified for the 5G license.
So far, it seems that only the three selected companies, MTN Nigeria Plc., Mafab Communications Limited and Airtel Networks Limited, have met these criteria.