NCC announces date for 5G spectrum auction, fixes reserve price at $197.4m

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has announced the auction for 5G services will hold December 13, 2021.

The Director of Spectrum, NCC, Oluwatoyin Asaju disclosed this at stakeholders consultative Forum on the Draft Information Memorandum (IM) for the 3.5GHz Spectrum Auction organised by the NCC in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy in Lagos on Thursday.

The commission also fixed the reserve price for the 3.5GHz spectrum auction at $197.4 million.

A reserve price is a minimum amount that a seller will accept as the winning bid. In bidding process, it prevents a bidder who offers a price lower than what the owner will accept from winning the auction.

According to Asaju, the commission would first hold a mock auction on December 10, 2021.

He said: “A reserve price of approximately N75 billion (Seventy-Five Billion) Naira only, equivalent to One Hundred and Ninety-Seven Million and Four Hundred Thousand United States Dollars only (USS 197,400,000.00) is to be used.

“An Initial Bid Deposit (IBD) equal to 10% of the reserve price is adopted in line with the previous auction.”

He said the ascending clock auction process will be used.

“The auction will be software-based, adding that provisions have been made for the manual auction should the auction software fail during the auction process.”

On eligibility criteria for network operators,   Asaju said only licensees with 100 percent regulatory compliance would be allowed to participate in the auction.

“New entrants are allowed to participate in the auction in addition to existing licensees,” he added.

“Licensees with outstanding debts that have secured Management’s approval for a payment plan will be allowed to participate.”

According to the NCC, the stakeholder engagement forum is an important regulatory prerequisite for the planned auction of the 3.5Ghz spectrum, which is necessary for the rollout of the 5G network in Nigeria.

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