5G Deployment: NCC Certifies MTN, Airtel As Glo Misses Out

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The Nigerian Communications Commission has certified MTN Nigeria Plc, Airtel Networks Limited and one new player for its 5G auction.

This means Globacom and Emerging Markets Telecommunication Service Limited may miss out on the deployment of Fifth Generation network for at least two years

The NCC disclosed on Thursday that only three qualified bidders met its criteria for the licensing process for the 3.5 gigahertz spectrum which is required for 5G deployment.

It was learnt that these three companies paid at least $19.74m each in order to qualify.

The commission, in a statement, said, “The qualified bidders that have met the criteria for participation in the licensing process of 3.5Ghz spectrum, including payment of the stipulated Intention to Bid Deposit as outlined in the Information Memorandum, are MTN Nigeria Plc, Mafab Communications Limited, and Airtel Networks Limited.”

According to the document released by the Federal Government, “Applicants must transfer an IBD corresponding to a lot into the designated account in cleared funds not later than 17.00 hours West African Time on November 24, 2021.

“A bank guarantee, or similar instruments, will not be acceptable. This deposit will bind the applicant to take up a licence, should it be a successful bidder, at the reserve price or any higher bid value submitted during the process.”

The commission pegged the IBD at 10 per cent of the reserve price for the spectrum ($197.40m).

NCC said only the three companies would participate in the main auction as well as in the mandatory mock auction process set to hold in December 2021.

The commission had earlier in the IM disclosed that it was only offering two lots of 100 MHz TDD Spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band ranging from 3500 – 3600 MHz and 3700 – 3800 MHz for auction.

This translates that only two of the three companies would emerge with capability to offer 5G services after the auction.

The NCC, during a 5G stakeholder meeting in Lagos, disclosed that it would make three more lots available for auction in 24 months after most of the telecommunication companies questioned the commission for making only two lots available.

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