MTN, Mafab win bid for Nigeria’s 5G spectrum, Airtel drops off

•Winners got regulator’s nod at $273m


MTN and Mafab Communications Ltd Monday won the 5G spectrum auctioned by the Federal Government, while Airtel  dropped off.

At the auction conducted by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the two companies got the ok at a price of $273 million each, according to the NCC spokesman, Ikechukwu Adinde.

The NCC conducted the auction at the Transcorp Hotel in Abuja for the available two slots for the 3.5 GHz spectrum.

MTN Nigeria, Mafab Communications Ltd and Airtel Networks Ltd participated in the bid using the Ascending Clock Auction System.

MTN is a telco giant in Nigeria, while Mafab Communications Ltd. was incorporated in 2020 and licensed to provide and operate local interconnect and international carrier services.

On Monday, each firm went through a bidding room after participating in an opening round. The commission fixed the base price at $197.4 million.

The reserve price per lot was initially set at $197,400,00 but was raised repeatedly by the auction manager, reaching $275,904,886.25 at round 11 with Airtel dropping off.

The bidding process then moved to the assignment stage.

The assignment stage is an auction mechanism to resolve any such conflicts and where the winning bidder(s) will specify the date for the payment of the upfront fee.

At the assignment stage, MTN offered $15,900,000 and was assigned lot one, while Mafab offered $11,120,000 and awarded slot two at no extra cost.

Speaking earlier, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, had said Nigeria is hoping to have the widest 5G in Africa in 2022.

He said 5G technology can solve some of the security challenges in the country, since the technology provides real time services and platforms.


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