5G Auction: NCC Certifies MTN, Airtel, New Firm

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has approved three qualified bidders that met its criteria for licensing regarding the 3.5 gigahertz spectrum which is required for Fifth Generation (5G) deployment in the country.

The three companies; MTN Nigeria Plc, Airtel Networks Limited and one new player, Mafab Communications Limited, are said to have paid at least $19.74m each to qualify for the auction.

Following the approval, Globacom and Emerging Markets Telecommunication Service Limited have been left out on the deployment of 5G network in the country for at least the next two years.

In a statement, NCC said the approved bidders have met all stipulated requirements. “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 as outlined in the Information Memorandum, are MTN Nigeria Plc, Mafab Communications Limited, and Airtel Networks Limited.” The statement read.

According to the document released by the Federal Government, “Applicants must transfer an IBD corresponding to a lot into the designated account in cleared funds not later than 17.00 hours West African Time on November 24, 2021.

NCC official, who spoke on condition of anonymity said Glo and 9mobile did not submit any application to partake in the process.

According to the NCC, only the three approved companies would participate in the main auction an the mandatory mock auction process set to hold this month.

The commission had earlier said it was only offering two lots of 100 MHz TDD Spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band ranging from 3500 – 3600 MHz and 3700 – 3800 MHz for auction. This implies that just two of the three companies would emerge with capability to operate 5G services in the country after the auction.

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