Nigerian online newspaper THISDAY is reporting that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has awarded fixed-wireless operator Multilinks with spectrum in the 2.3GHz band, replacing Galaxy Wireless. The former winner was dropped by the regulator as it failed to pay NGN1.368 billion (USD 9.36 million) for the 20MHz slot in time, as stipulated by the conditions of the licence. The report states that the other two successful applicants, Mobitel Nigeria and Spectranet, met the payment deadline for the concession to provide WiMAX services.
Under the terms of the auction, companies that were among the first four to pay the fee would be successful to ensure that only firms with adequate funding capacity receive the licences. According to TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, the NCC received 41 applications for the spectrum, which has been granted on a ‘use-it or lose-it basis’. Any company that is assigned spectrum and does not deploy a network within the specified time frame will lose the licence and forfeit the fees paid. The NCC has reportedly received a number of complaints on the process, stating that the regulator gave interested companies just five working days to raise the required sum for the licence, and that it gave some firms information about the event before adverts had been placed in newspapers.