5G Spectrum Auction Bidders Must Pay $27.36 Million Deposit – NCC

TECHDIGEST – The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said that anyone interested in participating in the forthcoming 3.5GHz spectrum auction for 5G will have to pay the sum of $27.36 million as Intention-to-Bid Deposit (IBD). 

In a final Information Memorandum (IM) for the spectrum auction released over the weekend, the NCC emphasised that the deposit must be paid latest by 5 PM on December 5, 2022. 

The auction is scheduled to take place on December 19, 2022 and the deposit amount represents 10% of the spectrum’s $273.6 million reserve price. 

Requirements for participation

Stating requirements for any company to be part of the auction, NCC said: 

“In accordance with the full instructions laid out within this IM, applicants, are to submit a completed application, including appropriate template documentation and confirmation of transfer of the Intention-to-Bid Deposit (IBD), of $27,3600.00 by 17.00 hours West African Time (WAT) on 05 December 2022.

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“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.” 

Coast clears for MTN

Meanwhile, with the new eligibility criteria in the final IM, MTN Nigeria is now qualified to participate in the auction. The updated IM, which was the result of the stakeholder engagement forum held by the Commission last week, changed part of the eligibility criteria. 

While NCC stated in the initial IM that licensees with up to 100MHz in the 3.5GHz band will not be eligible to participate in the auction, the updated IM said:

“Any Licensee of the Commission or any entity that has up to 200MHz in the 3.5GHz band in Nigeria will not be eligible to participate in this Auction.” 

Currently, there is no operator in Nigeria that has up to 200MHz in the 3.5GHz spectrum band. MTN and Mafab Communications which won the first 3.5GHz spectrum auction last year have 100MHz each, meaning that either of them can still participate in the coming auction.  

While Mafab is yet to roll out, MTN is eyeing another 100MHz out of the two lots to be auctioned next month. According to the company, having another lot of 100Mhz in the 3.5GHz spectrum band will enable it to deliver 5G service more efficiently.  





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