BREAKING: Round one auction of 3.5GHz 5G license ends with $199.3m, with GLO missing

The first round of the auction of the 3.5Ghz spectrum has just ended with the three bidders, MTN Communications Plc, Airtel and MAFAB Communications, taking the current price of the spectrum from the reserved $197.4m to $199, 374m.

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Ibrahim Pantami flagged off the much anticipated 3.5 GHz Spectrum auction in Abuja at around 11.00 am today.

The auction will give rise to the deployment of 5G technology and services in Nigeria.


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The auction started after a brief ceremony where the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ibrahim Pantami, Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission ( NCC) board of directors, Professor Adeolu Akande and Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta addressed the participants and observers on the imperative of the spectrum auction.

In his address, Pantami traced the journey from 2019 when the 5G technology was tested in Lagos, Abuja and some other cities in Nigeria and found to be suitable and desirable for the country. He also reminded the audience that the test was also followed by an investigation on claims the technology had health dangers. He said the result of the investigation showed 5G technology had no health hazards.

He expressed optimism that by 2022 Nigeria will have the largest 5G coverage in Africa. He is also of the opinion that 5G, could solve, among others, some of the security challenges in the country, since the technology provides real-time services and platforms.

Pantami also noted that 5G will go a long way in promoting the economic development of Nigeria, because digital technology is a key enabler of other sectors, especially the financial sector.

He asked that the auction be transparent, fair and just to all parties as the administration of President Mohammed Buhari believes in fairness and justice.

The Chairman of the NCC Board of Directors, Professor Adeolu Akande said the purpose of the 3.5 GHz Spectrum auction was to support the deployment of 5G technology in Nigeria, for the benefit of Nigerians.

All three companies, MTN Nigeria, Airtel Nigeria and Mafab Communications that expressed a desire to participate at the auction, are present at the auction.

The MTN team was led by its Chief Executive officer, Karl Toriola, Mafab Communications was led by its chairman, Alhaji Musibau Bashir, and Airtel was led by Chief Financial officer, Mr S. Krishna Menon.

On Friday, December 10, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) successfully carried out a mock session for the 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum auction for the deployment of the Fifth Generation (5G) network in the country in preparation for the actual auction.

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