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NCC shortlists MTN, Airtel, Mafab for 5G networks auction on Dec 13

By Oludare Mayowa

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Thursday announced that three telecoms companies have been qualified as approved bidders of the forthcoming 3.5 gigahertz spectrum auction for the deployment of Fifth-generation networks in the country.

The telecom industry regulator in a statement signed by its director public affairs, Ikechukwu Adinde, said “the qualified bidders have met criteria for participation in the licensing process of 3.5Ghz spectrum, including payment of the stipulated Intention to Bid Deposit (IBD) as outlined in the Information Memorandum (IM).

The statement listed the qualified telecom firms as MTN Nigeria Plc, Mafab Communications Limited, and Airtel Networks Limited.

According to the NCC, “the stage is now set for the three companies to participate in the Main Auction as well as in the mandatory Mock Auction process, which will come as a precursor to the Main Auction.”

“The Commission has also reaffirmed the dates for the conduct of both the Mock Auction and the Main Auction.

READ ALSO: Emirates Airlines to resume flight operations to Nigeria from Dec 5

“The Mock Auction is scheduled to hold on Friday, December 10, 2021 at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja by 11:00 a.m., while the Main Auction will hold on Monday, December 13, 2021 at the same venue and same time,” NCC said in the statement.

One of the three qualified firm is a relatively known, Mafab Communications Limited which was incorporated in July, 2020 and licensed by the NCC to provide and operate Local Interconnect and International carrier services.

The industry regulator had in October said it was 97 percent ready to begin full implementation of 5G deployment in the country. “Already, we are set for the auction some spectrum slots in 3.5GHz band.”

Also on Tuesday, NCC said it plans to conduct the second trial of 5G in some part of the country on Thursday prior to the launch of the technology.

In its ‘Draft Consultation Document for Deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) Mobile Technology in Nigeria’, the NCC disclosed that six locations across the nation were selected for this trial.

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