According to media reports, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has offered two additional slots in the 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum band for the deployment of the fifth generation (5G) network in the country.

The commission made this known recently in a memorandum titled ‘Information Memorandum on 3.5 GHz Spectrum Auction’.

The offering, according to NCC, includes the remaining lots of 2 x 100 megahertz (MHz) in the 3.5 GHz spectrum band “to support 5G deployment in Nigeria”.

The commission has, therefore, set the reserve price at US$273.60 million.

The memorandum read, “The Reserve Price (RP) is the minimum price for one lot of 100MHz TDD for a ten (10) year licence tenure fixed at US$273.60 million, or its equivalent in Naira at the prevailing Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) rates at the time of the auction.”

The commission further explained that 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 IM on November 15, 2022,” it said.

The commission added, “This is in line with the commission’s participatory rule-making process for the communications sector, to allow stakeholders and interested parties to review and comment on the draft IM before the final document is published.”

According to NCC, applicants for the spectrum do not have to be licensed network operators in the country. Still, they will need a unified access service licence (UASL) if their bid is successful.

If you recall, MTN Nigeria and Mafab Communications Limited made their full payment of US$273.6 million each for a 5G spectrum licence after emerging winners of the 3. 5 GHz spectrum auction in February.

While MTN has rolled out the 5G mobile network, Mafab suspended roll-out till December.

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