The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) – the National regulatory authority for telecommunications in Nigeria – in collaboration with its supervising Ministry (Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy), has successfully auctioned the 3.5 Gigahertz (GHz) spectrum.
The 3.5 GHz spectrum will be used to deploy fast and high latency broadband services using the 5G technology. The two available lots (3500-3600 MHz; and 3700-3800 MHz) have been won by Mafab Communications Limited and MTN Nigeria Plc. Each of the firms will pay $273,600,000 to the Nigerian government as spectrum fees. In the preferred Lot bid, MTN bidded higher, so it got the 3500-3600 MHz, while Mafab got the second Lot (3700-3800).
The NCC, having concluded the 11-Round, 8-hour auction process aimed at transparency, had used the same process to auction the 2G and 3G spectrums in 2001 and 2014 respectively. As the winners Institute processes to commence deployment of 5G services, beginning from 2022, the services already deployed in South Africa and Kenya has MTN as a common denominator in all the regions.
5G is the fifth generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks. It offers data speeds up to 100 times faster than 4G and lower latency (the delay before data transfer begins after an instruction for its transfer.). It can also support up to 1 million connected devices per square kilometer, compared to up to 100,000 for 4G.