The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) will auction off additional 3.5GHz spectrum following the upcoming sale of two slots in the 5G-suitable band scheduled to take place next month. This Day cites the NCC’s Director of Public Affairs Ikechukwu Adinde as saying that the additional 3.5GHz spectrum will be auctioned in the next 24 months, once it has been released by its current holder, Nigerian Communications Satellite (NigComSat).
‘The NCC has concluded on the auction of the first two slots of 3.5GHz spectrum and 13 December has been fixed for the auction in Abuja. The NCC is also working hard to auction the remaining three slots of the 3.5GHz spectrum, and we are looking at auctioning them in the next 24 months, after the frequency band has been cleared,’ Adinde stated.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, on 13 December the NCC plans to auction 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.