The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday announced that three telecoms companies have qualified as approved bidders in the upcoming 3.5GHz spectrum auction for the deployment of 5G networks, namely MTN Nigeria, Airtel Networks (Airtel Nigeria) and Mafab Communications, having met the criteria for participation including payment of an Intention to Bid Deposit (IBD). The NCC reaffirmed that the licence auction is scheduled for 13 December 2021.
TeleGeography notes that while the 5G bidders include Nigerian mobile market leader MTN and third-placed rival Airtel, the list does not include second largest cellco Globacom (Glo). Instead, sector newcomer Mafab Communications is intending to bid for frequencies. According to its website, Mafab, incorporated in July 2020, is licensed by the NCC for Local Interconnect (Interconnect Exchange) and International Carrier (International Data Access) services, and currently provides wholesale services to national and international operators.