NCC Announces Publication of Final Information Memorandum on 3.5GHz Spectrum Auction

Tomiwo Ojo
NCC 5G
Report says 5G will account for only 4% of total connections in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2025

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has announced the adoption and publication of the final version of the Information Memorandum (IM) to guide the upcoming auction of the remaining lots of the 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) Spectrum for the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) services in Nigeria.

Earlier, the Commission had published a daft IM and requested stakeholders to make comments and inputs into the document to enrich its contents.

Subsequently, stakeholders’ comments were collated and discussed at a Stakeholder’s Engagement forum hosted by the Commission on November 15, 2022, at Marriot Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, on the same subject.

All comments have been considered, and a final Information Memorandum to guide the upcoming auction is now available on the Commission’s website (www.ncc.gov.ng) with the link

NCC

Read also: NCC says it will auction 2 additional 5G licenses by December 2022

The Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) had earlier announced that it will auction 2 additional 3.5GHz Spectrum band licences before the end of 2022, to boost the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) services in Nigeria.

The process kickstarted on the 21st of October, with the publication of the Draft Information Memorandum (IM) for the auction on the Commission’s website. The memo invited stakeholders to study the Memorandum for purposes of making submissions ahead of a review of the IM on 16th 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.

After which, qualified bidders would be notified on the 5th of December 2022 while notification and publication of the Mock Auction and Auction date will occur on the same day. The Mock Auction is billed for 16th December 2022 just as the Auction proper takes place three days later, on 19th December 2022.

Read also: 5G: NCC Convenes Stakeholder Forum for Auction in December

The process is anticipated to enter its grant stage on 21st December 2022 with the publication of provisional bid winners and the notification of the provisional award of the licence.

Earlier this week, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) declined the request of Airtel Africa to secure a slot of the 3.5GHz Spectrum for the sum of $273.6 million, the price the agency sold the last 2 slots at the 5G auction last November.

According to BusinessDay, the NCC justified its decision, citing section 124 of the Nigerian Communications Act, which already set out the process to assign licences.

Ubale Maska, Executive Commissioner, Technical Services at NCC, was quoted to have said: “Our reserve price was set after necessary benchmarking. We arrived at some idea of what the price should be. The auction determined what the actual price should be. If we have only one party interested that will determine the price. If the reserve price throws up a higher price, that new price becomes the new price.”

Read also: NCC rejects Airtel’s latest bid for 5G license

What has been said by the NCC on 5G

The Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) announced weeks ago that it would auction 2 additional 3.5GHz Spectrum band licenses before the end of 2022 to boost the deployment of Fifth Generation services in Nigeria.

This happened after the process kickstarted on the 21st of October, with the Draft Information Memorandum (IM) publication for the auction on the Commission’s website. The memo invited stakeholders to study the Memorandum to make submissions ahead of a review of the IM on the 16th of November 2022.

Recall that in May, the NCC issued letters of 5G license awards to MTN and Mafab Communications after the companies won the 3.5GHz spectrum auction conducted by the Commission in December last year.

Read also: NCC pledges N500m for research in Nigerian universities

Since then, the regulators have outlined plans to successfully deploy Nigeria’s Fifth-Generation (5G) broadband network.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, called for collaboration between major stakeholders, including policymakers, national regulatory agencies, and network operators, to optimise the efficiency that comes with it.

The Commission requests all stakeholders to check public notices in the dailies and visit the website to study and review the final IM.


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