5G Technology: MTN successfully acquires 5G spectrum

MTN Nigeria in an auction on Monday won one of the two available lots of 100 MHz TDD slots of 3.5 GHz band for the deployment of fifth-generation network in the country.

The NCC had recently approved MTN Nigeria, Mafab and Airtel Networks Limited for the bidding process.

The three companies participated in the Monday’s 5G auction and the bidding began at $199.37m, as against the reserve price of $197.4m set by the NCC.

The auction ended at $273.6m for each available lots, and MTN Nigeria and Mafab Communications emerged as winners.

Bidding was set at $275,904,886 for the 11th round. Airtel remained in the bidding process until the last round when it fell off.

MTN paid an extra sum of $15.9m to be assigned the preferred lot of Lot One, while Mafab was assigned Lot Two, at no extra cost. In its Information Memorandum, the commission had said it was auctioning two lots of 100 MHz each in the 3.5 GHz band ranging from 3500 – 3600 MHz and 3700 to 3800 MHz.

Mafab, led by Alhaji Musibau Bashiru, is a new entrant in the telecoms sector and was licensed in July 2020. The company has an international data access licence from the NCC. The winners have until February 2022 to pay for the spectrum, or lose it.

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