The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has disclosed that it will offer two additional slots in the 3.5 Gigahertz (GHz) spectrum band for the deployment of a fifth-generation (5G) network in the country.
NCC disclosed this at the weekend in its Draft Information Memorandum, titled Information Memorandum on 3.5 GHz Spectrum Auction, published on its official website. The agency said it plans to sell the slots for $547.2 million, translating to $273.6 million for each licence.
According to the telco sector regulator, the offering includes the remaining lots of 2 x 100 megahertz (MHz) in the 3.5 GHz spectrum band to support 5G deployment in Nigeria.
This is coming less than a year after it offered a 3.5GHz spectrum to MTN Nigeria Communications Plc and Mafab Communication to support their 5G rollout.
Since NCC was awarded the 5G spectrum, MTN has launched its 5G network in selected locations, while Mafab is yet to roll out its 5G network but got the approval of NCC for a five-month rollout extension, which ends December 31, 2022.
“The spectrum reserve price (RP) is the minimum price for one slot of 100MHz TDD for a 10-year licence tenure fixed at $273,600,000.00 or its equivalent in Naira at the prevailing Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) rates at the time of the auction, according to the memorandum.”
The commission said it had developed a draft information memorandum (IM) to support the attainment of this objective through an auction process.
“The commission will hold a Public Consultation in respect of the draft information memorandum (IM) on November 15, 2022.
“This is in line with the commission’s participatory rule-making process for the communications sector, to give stakeholders and interested parties an opportunity to review and comment on the draft IM before the final document is published,” the memorandum further said.
The organisation added that applicants for the spectrum do not have to be licensed network operators in the country but will need a unified access service licence (UASL) if their bid is successful.
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.