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NCC qualifies Airtel, MTN and Mafab for spectrum auction

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has approved three telcos as approved bidders in its upcoming 3.5Ghz 5G spectrum auction.

The three companies, Airtel Networks, MTN Nigeria and Mafab Communications, met the required conditions of the auction, which includes the payment of the Intention to Bid Deposit as outlined in the previously agreed Information Memorandum.

As a result, the three companies are able to take part in the mandatory Mock Auction, which is due to take place on Friday 10 December 2021, before the Main Auction on Monday 13 December 2021.

The aforementioned 3.5Ghz spectrum, which is not compatible for satellite communications, was recovered from NIGCOMSAT and reallocated to the NCC for 5G deployment.

In October, MTN Nigeria confirmed that it is to raise the equivalent of almost $220 million in a bond issue to expand its 4G network. The circa 90 billion naira is in addition to the 110 billion naira that the company raised in 2020, in its first bond issue.

November also saw Airtel Africa, through its subsidiary Airtel Mobile Commerce Nigeria, granted approval in principle by the Central Bank of Nigeria to operate as a super-agent in Nigeria.

The news follows an announcement made in July where NCC confirmed that it was reviewing the country’s telecoms licensing process.

At the time, Umar Danbatta, CEO of the NCC, said: “The current licensing structure is almost 20 years old, hence the need for an urgent review of the existing licensing model to reflect new trends in licensing in accordance with international standards while providing opportunities for licensing. improved revenue for the government.”