Tech company wins 2.6GHz band provisional frequency license

MTN, as the qualified bidder, will be required to pay a total $96m (N19.2bn) for the license – a cumulative 30MHz in the 2.6GHz Frequency.

Travellers walk past an MTN telecom shop at King Shaka International Airport in Durban, South Africa, November 16, 2015.   REUTERS/Rogan Ward

Media reports confirm that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has granted a provisional 2x30MHz in the 2.6gigahertz (GHz) frequency license to MTN Nigeria Communications Limited (MTN), as the sole approved bidder.

On March 11, 2016, the NCC published an Information Memorandum (IM) expressing its intention to auction 2x70MHz in the 2.6GHz frequency band on behalf of the Federal Government.

About a month later on May 20, 2016, stated that since there was only “one qualified bidder”, who wanted six slots out of the 14 available for sale on the 2.6GHz spectrum, there was no need to conduct an auction again.

According to a Nigeria CommunicationsWeek report, the commission had set a reserve price of $16m (N3.2bn) for a slot of the frequency spectrum. One lot or slot of the frequency is made up of two portions of 5MHz.

“At the close of submission of applications and the subsequent evaluation thereof, MTN Nigeria Communications Limited (MTN) emerged the sole approved bidder with an expressed interest to bid for 2x30MHz of the available frequency.

“Consequent upon the above, and in accordance with clause 6.5.3 of the IM which mandates the Commission to provisionally award licence(s) to the approved bidder(s) if the aggregate demand is less than or equal to the number of Lots on offer, the Commission is pleased to announce that MTN has been provisionally awarded 2x30MHz frequency in the 2.6GHz Band,” said Mr. Tony Ojobo, director, Public Affairs at NCC, in an advertorial in the Guardian Newspaper of Tuesday, June 21, 2016.

Ojobo added that MTN has 21 days from the date of the provisional award which was on June 13, 2016, to pay the reserve price.

In the event MTN fails to pay the fee within the specified period, the publication reads, “MTN will lose the award and also forfeit the IBD."

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