The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), yesterday in Lagos engaged stakeholders from the country’s telecom ecosystem on the upcoming auction of the 3.5GHz spectrum band, as part of its 5G technology deployment plan.
The engagement was in exercise of its functions under the Nigerian Communications Act 2003, which allows the Commission to published a Draft Information Memorandum (IM) on the process of auctioning the spectrum.
After presenting the Information Memorandum, which provides guidance and process that the Commission has decided to adopt for the licensing of the 3.5 GHz band, including details of the Spectrum to be made available, the prequalification process and the Auction process; here are the key take away as noticed by ITPulse’s team:
- Five lots of 100 MHz each TDD are to be cleared at different periods depending on the level of encumbrances on the slots.
- For the purpose of this auction, two lots of 100 MHz each are to be offered in the first phase of the auction.
- Ascending Clock Auction will be used.
- The auction is software based.
- Provisions have been made for manual auction should the auction software fail during the auction process.
- A Mock auction shall precede the main Auction.
- A reserve price of approximately ₦75 billion (Seventy-Five Billion) Naira only, equivalent to One Hundred and Ninety-Seven Million and Four Hundred Thousand United States Dollars only (US$197,400,000.00) is to be used.
- An Initial Bid Deposit (IBD) equal to 10% of the reserve price is adopted in line with the previous auction.
- New entrants are allowed to participate in the auction in addition to existing licensees; and
- Only Licensees with 100% regulatory compliance would be allowed to participate in the Auction.
- Licensees with outstanding debts that have secured Management’s approval for a payment plan will be allowed to participate.
- The auction comes with a 10-year Spectrum Licence and a minimum requirement of a UASL Operational Licence.
- New entrants or Licensees without a UASL will be required to additionally obtain a UASL Operational Licence.
- Network Operators would be required to; meet all Auction conditions as specified in the IM and carry out Periodic Penetration Testing, and Vulnerability Scan of their Networks to ensure security of the
- Starting from the effective date of the licence. Rollout service in at least one State in each geo-political zone: SW, SS, SE, NC (Including FCT), NW and NE zones.
- Additional 6 States other than those in Year 1 to 2, across the six geo-political zone.