NCC releases final IM for 5G auction as deadline arrives

09 December 2021

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) released the final information memorandum (IM) for the planned auction of the 5G spectrum licence auction scheduled for December 13.

It was made available one day before the November 24 deadline for interested telecom licencees and new entrants to submit bids for the auction.

There are plans to auction two lots of 100 MHz TDD slots available in the 3.5 GHz band to support the delivery of ubiquitous broadband services. The two lots are in the 3500-3600 and 3700-3800 MHz frequency and will be offered on a technology neutral basis for provision of communications service.

NCC executive vice chairman Umaru Danbatta urged stakeholders to pay attention particularly to sections 1 (e), VII {(i) (ii), (v) (3) (c)} and XI (e) of the IM. The NCC has already pegged the Generic Reserve Price (GRP) for each lot of the spectrum at ₦75bn or its equivalent in naira at the prevailing Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) rates at the time of the auction.

Each successful bidder will be assigned on a nationwide basis covering all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on a subsisting policy on “use-it or lose-it” with respect to the use of assigned spectrum.

The final IM document states that “where a winner does not hold a Unified Access Service Licence (UASL) which is the operational licence for the frequency spectrum slated for auction, it will be issued at an additional fee of ₦374, 600,000.00 only or at the subsisting licence fee at the time of the auction”.

Furthermore, the NCC says the proposed licensing of 3.5 GHz Spectrum has been influenced by the need to open up the space for the delivery of present and future generations of broadband services to subscribers in line with the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025.