Airtel Nigeria applies to acquire 5G spectrum for $273.6 million outside of NCC auction

airtel nigeria has asked that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) should administratively allocate one of the remaining 3.5 GHz spectrum lots to you at the reserve price of $273.6 million.

The request was made today during a stakeholder event in Lagos to review comments made to the NCCs. Recently published informational memorandum on the planned auction of two 3.5 GHz spectrums for the deployment of 5G.

The telecom operator argued that obtaining one of the two 3.5GHz spectrum through administrative allocation would ensure that it does not participate in another auction in which the license ultimately goes to the highest bidder.

Let’s remember that Airtel had participated in the first auction held in December last year, in which MTN and Mafab Communications were winners.

The company said its participation in the first auction made the process competitive because MTN and Mofab would have obtained the licenses at the reserve price had there not been a third bidder.

The news continues after this announcement.

NCC denies the request: Meanwhile, the NCC rejected Airtel’s request, noting that although it was a fair request, the process was settled and the spectrum would be allocated only by auction.

The starting price: In the latest 5G spectrum auction, NCC had set the reserve price at $197.4 million. The price was raised to $273.6 million, which was the final price paid by MTN and Mafab to acquire the license. The $273.6 million is now the reserve price for the remaining spectrum lots billed for auction on December 19, 2022.

The news continues after this announcement.

guided by law: Speaking at the stakeholder forum that was organized to get input from industry players on the auction process, NCC Executive Vice President Professor Umar Danbatta noted that although requests have been made for administrative allocation of spectrum , the Commission would go by the law that governs its operations. He said:

  • “Following the successful auction of the initial two (2) lots in December 2021, the Commission received requests to administratively license the available lots at the previous auction rate. However, the Commission, pursuant to its powers under the Nigerian Communications Act 2003, has decided to license the available lots in the 3.5 GHz band through the auction method, which is a transparent and efficient process that can also open up opportunities for new entrants. how to deepen competition in the industry.
  • “The Commission has committed enormous resources to ensure that harmonized Spectrum is promptly secured and released for the present and future deployment of services that will support the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), including International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT-2020) services. ).
  • “We have kept abreast of developments in international fora, including the ITU-R Study Groups to enable the allocation of strategic spectrum to IMT services, especially IMT-2020, which has been at the forefront in the last two cycles. study ITU-R. Therefore, we must ensure the timely release of the Spectrum bands required for 5G deployment in industry to enable us to realize the immediate and anticipated benefits of 5G technology and facilitate the development of Nigeria’s digital economy to foster national growth. ”.

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