MTN, Etisalat interested in 2.3GHz licence

2 Jan 2014

A number of telecoms companies have expressed an interest in participating in the Nigerian Communications Commission’s (NCC’s) upcoming auction of a national spectrum licence in the 2.3GHz frequency band, scheduled to take place towards the end of the month. Local newspaper BusinessDay reports that South Africa’s MTN, Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) of the United Arab Emirates and local operator Visafone Communications have all declared an interest in bidding for the new licence, which has a reserve price of NGN3.67 billion (USD22.6 million). As a complement to its Open Access Broadband Strategy, the NCC will award one lot of 30MHz spectrum in the 2.3GHz band for the provision of wholesale wireless broadband access services to internet service providers (ISPs) and other retail telecoms service providers, which in turn will offer retail high speed internet access services to consumers. Meanwhile, the report adds that local submarine cable company MainOne has said it is interested in bidding for one of the seven regional infrastructure company (InfraCo) licences which are set to be auctioned off towards the end of the year. InfraCos will be responsible for providing a national broadband network on a non-discriminatory, open access and price regulated basis to all service providers.