N75bn 5G spectrum
As Nigeria moves closer to the commercial rollout of the the Fifth Generation Network (5G), the country’s telecoms industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has unveiled the reserved price for the 3.5 GHz Spectrum.
The price is pegged at approximately ₦75 billion, equivalent to $197,400,000.00, and according to to the Commission, an Initial Bid Deposit (IBD) equal to 10 per cent of the reserve price is to be adopted in line with the previous auction.
The commission made the disclosure today at the stakeholders’ engagement forum on the spectrum held in Lagos by the Commission, and operators are expected to firm up preparation to bid for the N75bn 5G spectrum in an auction expected to come up in December.
The engagement marked a major point in the long preliminary preparation of the technology in Nigeria, where the Commission welcomed more input into the 5G spectrum auction plan from industry-wide stakeholders as well as answered relevant questions on the subject.
Meanwhile, the Commission explained that the 3.5 GHz Spectrum is made-up of five lots of 100 MHz each TDD that are to be cleared at different periods depending on the level of encumbrances on the slots.
The planned auction of the 3.5 GHz Spectrum, which comes with sphere of strict guidelines, for instance showed that for the purpose of the auction, two lots of 100 MHz each are to be offered in the first phase of the auction.
At the engagement forum on the spectrum in Lagos, Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice-Chairman/CEO of NCC said the coming deployment of the 5G network will complement the nation’s march towards digital economy.
Meanwhile, various stakeholders in the telecom have applauded the NCC for the transparent process.
Engineer Gbenga Adebayo, chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) said the association has already keyed into the vision of the NCC in terms of the deployment. He also appealed to the Commission to show concern on the issue of cost to subscribers.
Adebayo assured the public that the 5G network is safe as the science behind it does not pose any kind of danger to members of the public.
Mrs. Abimbola Alale of NigComSat, who was represented at the event by Danjuma Ndihgihdah, head of satellite operation, commended the Commission for providing an enabling environment for the telecom sector to thrive in Nigeria.
She added that the transparency of the regulatory policies of the NCC has attracted billions of dollars in terms of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country as well created millions of direct and indirect jobs.
The NigComSat chief executive said her organisation is firmly in support of 5G deployment in Nigeria.
While applauding the NCC team for the planned transparent auction, the Minister of Digital Economy, Prof Isa Pantami disclosed that the 3.5GHz spectrum band (the lower C-band), was recovered from NIGCOMSAT and reallocated to the NCC for deployment of 5G technology based on terms and conditions agreed by both parties.
Pantami who was represented by a Director in the Ministry and Secretary, National Frequency Management Council, Mr. Abubakar Abdullahi Ladan, who is the said that for transparency and accountability in the sale of this common national heritage, the Federal Government thought it wise to involve relevant stakeholders in the process so that the general public is carried along.