NCC plans to hold 3.5GHz spectrum auction in December

8 Oct 2021

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has published a Draft Information Memorandum for its upcoming auction of spectrum in the 3.5GHz band, as part of its 5G Technology Deployment Plan and in line with the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025. Interested stakeholders are invited to make written submissions on the subject by 27 October and participate in a Stakeholders’ Engagement Programme to be held on 3 November, with the spectrum auction currently scheduled to take place on 13 December.

The regulator plans to auction off two lots of 100MHz TDD spectrum in the 3.5GHz band, ranging from 3500MHz-3600MHz and 3700MHz-3800MHz. Each lot has a reserve price of USD197.4 million, with the nationwide spectrum licences valid for ten years. To qualify to bid in the auction, applicants will not have to be an existing licensed network operator in Nigeria, although any successful bidder which does not already have a Unified Access Service Licence (UASL) will be granted one upon payment of the specified fee. Winning bidders will be required to launch commercial services within twelve months of the effective date of the licence, and coverage should reach at least one state in each of the country’s six geo-political zones within two years.