MTN Nigeria PLC and Mafab Comm. LTD are the two winners of the 3.5 Giga-Hertz (GHz) spectrum auction for the establish the use of 5G technology for the delivery of universal broadband services in the country.
The Director of Public Affairs at the Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde revealed the winners of the 5G auctioning event that took place in Abuja after 11 rounds of bidding that lasted for eight hours on Monday.
In his statement, the director said: “The three companies namely MTN, Airtel and Mafab communications Limited, had qualified for the auction, having met the requirements stipulated in the information memorandum (IM) for the spectrum auction.
“The three companies had also participated in a mock auction held on Friday, December 10, 2021, which served as a precursor to the main auction conducted today (Monday, December 13, 2021).”
“In an exercise that clearly demonstrated demand outstripping supply, with ascending clock auction system adopted by the commission, the three bidders participated in the intensely competitive auction bid.”
The director of public affairs at the NCC further revealed the amount that was fixed in each round of bidding before reaching its final bidding. He said:
“In the first round of the auction, the bid was fixed at $199,374,000.00; $201,367,740.00 at second round; $204,388,356.10 at third round; $209,407,962.50 at fourth round and $215,782,901.30 at the fifth round.”
“The auction prices increased progressively to $224, 414,217.43 at the sixth round; $231,146,643.96 at the seventh round; $240,392,509.71 at the eight round; $251,210,172.65 at the ninth round; and $263,700,050.00 at the round 10 of the auction exercise.”
According to him, the bidding process reaches its limit at around 11 when they reach bidding price had skyrocketed to $275,904,886.25 and all three bidders are still active in the process
According to NCC spokesman, the auction process was however concluded at the 11 round following an exit bid that was listed by Airtel at an amount of $270,000,000, while MTN posted an exit bid of $273,000,000 giving way to the assignment stage
At this juncture, Airtel dropped off from the auctioning because of its low exit bid thereby paving the way for Mafab and MTN to be the winner of the two slots that are available.
Following the conclusion of the auctioning, NCC Executive Chairman and auction overseer, Professor Umar Danbatta, announced the result of the auction exercise.
He pointed out that the communication helm had published a public notice on its decision to give two lots of 100 Megahertz (MHz) Time Division Duplex (TDD) available in the 3.5 GHz band through an auction process to support the establishment of the 5g network in Nigeria
In his statement, the Executive Chairman says:
”Subsequently, an information memorandum was issued on November 10, 2021, in which bid applications for the available spectrum lots were invited.
“By the deadline for receipt of applications on November 29, 2021, the commission received an application from three licensed telecoms companies, which are” Airtel Networks Limited, Mafab Communications Limited, and MTN Communications Nigeria Limited.
“It is my pleasure to announce that at the end of the auction, Mafab Communications Limited and MTN Communications Nigeria Limited emerged as provisional license winners”
According to the NCC Executive Chairman, the winning bid is $273,600,000 for each lot of 100 MHz TDD and the winners are expected to pay the winning bid price by February 24, 2022.
Professor Danbatta did not hesitate to give credit to the auction exercise as he view the process to be transparent, credible, well organized, and designed to meet the targeted objective.
The NCC Chief congratulated the winners and give gratitude to the Federal Government for her support and unending commitment to the deployment of 5G technology in Nigeria which to him will lead to significant network improvements such as higher connection speed, mobility, and capacity as well as low latency capabilities to communications services in Nigeria.
Following the successful winners of the bidding, he said in accordance with the process contained in the IM, the provisional winners have proceeded to the assignment stage.
In his statement, he says:
“MTN communication Nigeria plc made an offer of $15,900,000 for the assignment of a preferred lot, while Mafab communications limited made an offer of $11,120,000 for a preferred lot.”
“Thence, MTN communication Nigeria PLC, having made the highest offer was given the right to select its most preferred lot and it selected lot 1 (3500 – 3600), while lot 2 (3700 – 3800 MHz) is consequentially assigned to Mafab Communication Limited at no extra cost.”