NCC to auction 2.6GHz Spectrum for $224m

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Communications Commission (NCC) on Thursday said that it would auction 14 slots of 2.6GHz Spectrum for 224 million dollars.

The Director, Spectrum Administration of NCC, Mr Augustine Nwaulune, made the disclosure at an interactive session with journalists on the proposed 2.6GHZ licence auction in Lagos.

Nwaulune said that the Generic Reserved Price for a slot of the spectrum was 16 million dollars, adding that 14 slots would be auctioned.

“It is a capacity spectrum. The whole essence is to ensure that broadband is available in every part of the nation.

“This spectrum is considered to be a valuable national resource for which commercial opportunities exist.

“The relevance of the 2.6GHz spectrum is that it has global harmonisation that will reduce cost because of the availability of the equipment,’’ he said.

He said that the spectrum was offered by the commission on a technology neutral basis, adding that it could be used to provide any telecommunication service.

On the rollout of services, Nwaulune said the commission intended to follow the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) recommendation setting aside spectrum in the 2.6GHz band for provision of advanced wireless broadband services.

The director said that for an applicant to bid in the auction, he or she would have to be a licensed network operator in Nigeria and registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission.

He said that interested parties would be subjected to a set of pre-qualification criteria, adding that only parties that met the criteria would be allowed to take part in the auction.

Nwaulune urged applicants to transfer an Intention-to-Bid Deposit corresponding to the number of lots they wished to bid for into the designated account in clear funds.

The director added that bidders must not have a relationship with another bidder and not expected to make any public statement during the whole process.

“Any bidder found in anti-competitive manner will be penalised.’’

He said that winners of the spectrum licence would have to roll-out within a year or forfeit the licence.

The director said that the country was in need of broadband deployment and not for the broadband to be kept.

“The commission expects every bidder to develop a business plan that will ensure it meets the rollout obligations stipulated which will be strictly enforced,’’ he said.

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