After nearly eight hours and 11 rounds of auctions for the 3.5GHz spectrum, the duo of MTN and Mafab Communications yesterday in Abuja emerged winners of the two slots of the spectrum available for the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) network in Nigeria.

The two companies ended up biiding for $273 million each for the last round, beating Airtel Nigeria that quit at the eleventh round when the bid was $270m.  The three eligible bidders that participated at the mock and main auctions, were MTN Nigeria, Mafab Communications and Airtel Networks Limited.

With this, the provisional licence would be given to Mafab Communications Limited and MTN Nigeria after paying fully for the license by February 24, 2022 in naira.

As qualified bidder for the spectrum, MTN had paid $15,900,000 to get lot one of the spectrum, while Mafab paid additional $11, 120, 000 million to get lot two.

Before the commencement of the bidding process with power bestowed on the Nigerian Communications Commission by Section 121 of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 as well as the Licensing Regulations 2019, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta had assured of the Commission’s commitment to a transparent and fair Auction process.

He noted that yesterday’s auction represents a culmination off all the efforts at the international and national levels that have prepared Nigeria for momentous leap forward pervasive broadband deployment across the country.

“In line with the 5G Deployment Policy and global best practices, the Commission has set in motion the process for the auction and will be offering two (2) lots in the 3.5GHz band with three (3) companies competing to acquire a licence for the available lots,” he said.

According to him, as Nigeria move to the next phase of the implementation of the National Policy on 5G Networks for Nigeria’s Digital Econony with the 3.5GHz Spectrum Auction, 5G networks offer significant advantages over current technologies.

He highlighted some of the advantages to include much lower latency, higher bandwidth, greater a device density longer battery life for nodes and greater network flexibility.


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