From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has put up another two slots of spectrum in the 3.5GHz Spectrum band for auction before the end of 2022, to boost the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) services in Nigeria.
NCC in a statement on Tuesday said the process, which was made public on 21st October 2022 with the publication of the Draft Information Memorandum (IM) for the auction on the Commission’s website, invited stakeholders to study the Memorandum for purposes of making submissions ahead of a review of the IM on 16th November 2022.
It said: “The final IM is slated for publication on 18th December 2022, while applications will be received by the Commission from 21st November 2022. The closing date for the submission of the application, the deadline for payment of mandatory Intention-To-Bid Deposit (IBD), and the Pre-Qualification Stage is set for 5th December 2022.
“Qualified bidders would be notified on 5th December 2022 while notification and publication of the Mock Auction and Auction date will occur on the same day. The Mock Action is billed for 16th December 2022 just as the Auction proper takes place three days later, on 19th December 2022.
“The process is anticipated to enter its grant stage on 21st December 2022 with the publication of provisional bid winners and the notification of provisional award of the licence.
“The year 2023 will open with the payment for Spectrum Licence and Operational Licence, where applicable, on 20th January 2023 and on the 23rd of January 2023, the auction process will be concluded with the publication of the result.
“Meanwhile, according to the Information Memorandum, pursuant to the issuance of the IM, the Commission reserves the right to make available additional information through the publication of further documentation. Therefore, interested parties are advised to stay abreast with developments in the licensing process by checking regularly for updates on the Commission’s website.”
In February 2022, MTN Nigeria and Mafab Communications Limited made their full payment of $273.6 million each for a 5G spectrum licence after emerging winners of the 3. 5 GHz spectrum auction.
While MTN has rolled out the 5G mobile network, Mafab suspended roll-out till December this year and got the approval of NCC for a five-month rollout extension, which ends December 31, 2022.