Airtel emerges sole bidder for new 5G spectrum

Airtel Africa has emerged as the sole bidder for the 5G spectrum license in the second rounds of bidding for the sale of 5G network broadband by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

MTN Nigeria, which had earlier expressed interest in participating in the bidding round, was conspicuously missing.

The 5G license has a reserved price of $273.6 billion, but the telecommunications industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) accepted 10 percent of the license fee ($27.36 million) from Airtel as payment for intention-to-bid deposit (IBD).

Aside from Airtel, Standard Network & Connections Limited (Standard Network) also expressed interest in bidding for the 5G spectrum, however, it failed to make the down payment for the IBD before the deadline on Monday.

Interested companies were expected to bid for lot ‘A’ (3400-3500MHz) and lot ‘C’ (3600-3700MHz), which are the last two lots for 2022.

In a statement, NCC said Standard Network requested for extension, but the industry regulator turned down the request, as such, there will be no further bidding, and NCC says it will proceed to the Assignment Stage.

Speaking on the status of the 5G spectrum, NCC said, “Only Airtel paid the intention-to-bid deposit (IBD) as stipulated in the information memorandum (IM) whereas Standard Network sent an email appeal for the deadline to be extended by twelve working days which was not acceptable in view of the auction timetable.

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