The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has placed the reserved price on the Fifth Generation (5G) licenses at approximately ₦75 billion (Seventy-Five Billion) Naira.
The equivalent of N75bn,, is One Hundred and Ninety-Seven Million and Four Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (US$197,400,000.00)
Speaking at the “Stakeholders Consultative Forum on the Draft Information Memorandum for the 3.5GHz Spectrum Auction” held in Lagos,The Director, Spectrum Administration in NCC, Mr Oluwatoyin Asaju, explained that an Initial Bid Deposit (IBD), equals to 10 per cent of the reserve price is adopted in line with the previous auction.
Eligibility according to Mr Asaju entails that new entrants are allowed to participate in the auction in addition to existing licensees pointing out that only licensees with 100% regulatory compliance would be allowed to participate in the auction.
Mr Asaju explained that the auction of license would come with a 10-year Spectrum License and a minimum requirement of a Unified Access Service License (UASL) operational license. While the new entrants or licensees without a UASL will be required to additionally obtain a UASL operational license.
He further pointed out that network operators would be required to meet all auction conditions as specified in the Information Memoranda (IM); Carry out periodic penetration testing, and vulnerability scan of their networks to ensure security of the systems.
Also starting from the effective date of the licence, the operator is expected to rollout service in at least one state in each geo-political zone: South West, South-South, North Central including the Federal Capital Territory, North West, North East zones, within the first and two years of the license.
In the year 3 to 5, Asaju said that additional six states other than those in year 1 to 2, across the six geo-political zones and operators are encouraged to roll out across all other states.
Earlier in a message the minister of Communication and Digital Economy Dr Isah Ali Pantami who was represented by the Secretary National Frequency Management Council Mr Abubakar Ladan said the federal government has retrieved from NigComSat the dormant 3.5 GHz spectrum band and has allocated it to the Nigerian Communications Commission, for use in 5G deployment.
In a remark, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC Professior Umar Garbar Danbatta said 5G technology does not only offer enhanced broadband and ultra-reliable low latency communications, it also provides massive machine type communications, where lots of devices will seamlessly connect and interact independently with the Internet without human intervention. Thus, enabling the Smart City Initiatives and making Broadband Use Cases a reality.
Professor Danbatta added that given the importance of 5G technology and the critical role of Spectrum, the International Telecommunications Union Radio Communication Sector (ITU-R) conducted studies in its last two study cycles during the World Radio Communication Conferences of 2015 and 2019 (WRC-15 & WRC-19) and identified Spectrum for 5G technology including the 3.5GHz band, which stands out due to its excellent propagation characteristics which offer both capacity and coverage.
He noted that the Commission in line with its mandate as enshrined in the Nigerian Communication Act, 2003 and our Strategic Vision Plan (SVP) 2021-2025, has committed enormous resources to ensure harmonized Spectrum is secured and released in a timely manner for present and future deployment of services that will underpin the fourth industrial revolution, including International Mobile Telecommunication (IMT-2020) services.
The EVC explained that while the Commission was able to secure the necessary 3.4 – 3.9GHz C-band for deployment of 5G services in Nigeria. The C-band is globally accepted as the candidate of choice for 5G deployment due to its excellent propagation characteristics.