The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has named Airtel Africa as the sole bidder for a 5G high-speed spectrum licence in Nigeria’s second round of licensing.

The announcement was made late Wednesday night by the commission in a statement made available to Business Hallmark.

According to the statement signed by Mr. Reuben Mouka, NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, Airtel was picked after another bidder, Standard Network and Connections Limited, failed to pay a deposit to continue with the auction.

“The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) hereby announces that by the close of business on Monday, December 5, 2022, only two companies expressed interest in the auction of the 3.5GHz Spectrum band namely; Airtel Networks Limited (Airtel) and Standard Network and Connections Limited (Standard Network).

“However, only Airtel paid the Intention to Bid Deposit (IBD) as stipulated in the Information Memorandum (IM) whereas, Standard Network sent an email appeal for the deadline to be extended by twelve (12) working days which was not acceptable in view of the auction timetable.

“Having met all the provision in the IM, Airtel has, therefore, emerged as the Sole Bidder.

“Consequently, there shall be no further bidding and the commission will proceed to the Assignment Stage in line with the published Information Memorandum guiding the licensing process”, the regulator said Wednesday night.

It would be recalled that the NCC had in December 2021 issued Nigeria’s first 5G licences to MTN Nigeria and Mafab Communications after the companies each paid $273.6 million.

The auction for the first round was conducted at the Transcorp Hotel in Abuja for the available two slots for the 3.5 GHz spectrum.

MTN Nigeria, Mafab Communications Ltd and Airtel Networks Ltd had participated in the bid using the Ascending Clock Auction System.

The commission had fixed the base price at $197.4 million. However, MTN and Mafab got the nod of the regulator at $273 million.


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