The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has put up another two slots of spectrum in the 3.5GHz Spectrum band to be auctioned before the end of 2022, in a bid to boost the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) telecommunication services in Nigeria.
The process, which was made public on October 21, 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 November 6, 2022.
According to the Commission’s time table, the final IM is slated for publication on December 18, 2022, while applications will be received by the Commission from November 21, 2022. The closing date for the submission of application, the deadline for payment of mandatory Intention-To-Bid Deposit (IBD), and the Pre-Qualification Stage is set for December 5, 2022.
Qualified bidders would be notified on December 5, 2022 while notification and publication of the Mock Auction and Auction date will occur on the same day. The Mock Action is billed for December 16, 2022 just as the Auction proper takes place three days later, on December 19, 2022.
The process is anticipated to enter its grant stage on December 21, 2022 with the publication of provisional bid winners and the notification of provisional award of licence.
The year 2023 will open with the payment for Spectrum Licence and Operational Licence, where applicable. These will be on January 20 and January 23, 2023, while the auction process will be concluded with the publication of the result.
Meanwhile, according to the Information Memorandum, in 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.
It will be recalled that following a final round bid for the 3.5GHz Spectrum for the launch of services in the 5G technology space, MTN and Mafab Communications Limited won the first two slots auctioned by the NCC in December 13, 2021, and were issued with letters of award in February 2022 after making their full payment of $273.6 million each.
According to the Managing Director of New Horizon, Nigeria, Mr. Tim Akano, the fifth-generation network, popularly known as 5G technology, will create $13.2 trillion in the global economy by 2030, create 22 million jobs, and add $1.3 trillion to global gross domestic product (GDP), by 2030. Akano also said that about 125 billion Internet of Things IoT) would be connected by the same year 2030.