MTN, Mafab winners for 3.5GHz spectrum in Nigerian auction

Mafab Communications Ltd and MTN Nigeria emerged as the two successful winners of the 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum auction for the deployment of fifth generation (5G) technology to support the delivery of global broadband services in Nigeria. after 11 rounds of bidding that lasted eight hours.

While the two operators qualified, earlier this month, to bid in the auctions alongside rival Airtel Nigeria, Airtel pulled out of the bidding after its rivals’ bids crested $270m.

As such, CommsUpdate reports that the winning bidders must each pay for their holdings by 24th February 2022. MTN was able to select a holding in the 3500MHz-3600MHz band, while Mafab allocated the 3700MHz-3800MHz holding.

On Monday, each firm went through a bidding room after participating in an opening round. The commission fixed the base price at $197.4 million.

Accordingly, the spokesperson of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said, “The two winners, Ikechukwu Adinde, got the nod of the regulator at $273 million.”

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC and Auction Overseer, Umar Garba Danbatta said “The NCC published a public notice on its decision to award two lots of 100 megahertz (MHz) Time Division Duplex (TDD) available in the 3.5 GHz band through an auction process to support the delivery of ubiquitous broadband services for the deployment of 5G network in Nigeria.”  

He added: “The auction was held successfully on Monday December 13, 2021 at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja with the three bidders competing for the available two slots. The Commission adopted the Ascending Clock Auction format which ended after Round 11 and proceeded to the Assignment Stage.”

It is my pleasure to announce that at the end of the auction, Mafab Communications Limited and MTN Communications Nigeria Limited emerged as provisional licence winners, he said.

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, had said earlier that Nigeria is hoping to have the widest 5G in Africa in 2022.

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