JUST IN: NCC Rejects Request for 3.5 GHz Spectrum Auction Reservation, Sets December 5th as Bid Deadline

The Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), said it will not reserve Spectrum for any group or entity as it gets set for the auctioning of the remaining Lots of 2 x 100MHz TDD in the 3.5GHz Spectrum band to support the roll-out of 5G services in Nigeria.

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The Commission noted that reservation is considered as discriminatory and capable of creating an uneven playing field.

The NCC also said that Any Licensee of the Commission or any entity that has up to 200MHz in the 3.5GHz band in Nigeria will not be eligible to participate in this Auction.

The regulator has also fixed December 5, 2022 for deadline for the submission of all bid by interested telecommunications companies saying that applicants (Domestic and Foreign) are not required to be Licensed Network Operators but must be incorporated in Nigeria before the Licence is issued.

The Commission in a reversed Information Memorandum (IM), sighted by TechnologyMirror revealed that applicants will be subject to a set of pre-qualification criteria and only those that meet these criteria will be allowed to take part in the auction.

The NCC had in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria had a stakeholders’ engagement on the IM where inputs that were earlier received from the stakeholders were presented and feedback obtained from them.

In the feedback, Airtel Nigeria requested for a reservation while MTN Nigeria Plc demanded for inclusion into the bidding process due to its increasing capacity but the reversed IM revealed that the requests were not granted.

In the new document, according to the NCC, the “Reserve Price is the minimum price for one Lot of 100MHz TDD for a ten (10) year licence tenure fixed at Two Hundred and Seventy-Three Million and Six Hundred Thousand United States Dollars only (US$273,600,000.00) or its equivalent in Naira at the prevailing Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) rates at the time of the auction.”

The document further disclosed that the successful bidder(s) at the auction will be issued a ten (10) year national Spectrum Licence. This Licence will authorise the licensee to make use of the designated part of the Electromagnetic Spectrum for the purpose of providing Broadband services adding that each Bidder will be assigned on a nationwide basis covering all the States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

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