Airtel loses as MTN, Mafab win bid for 5G spectrum

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The two winners got the nod of the regulator at $273 million.

MTN and Mafab Communications Limited have won the bid for the 5G spectrum auctioned by the Nigerian government Monday.

The Nigerian Communications Commission conducted the auction at the Transcorp Hotel in Abuja for the availabl 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.

On Monday, each firm went through a bidding room after participating in an opening round.

The State Security Services (SSS) was tasked with monitoring the representatives of the companies who were not allowed to leave the room until the process was over.

The commission fixed the base price for at $197.4 million. The two winners got the nod of the regulator at $273 million, the spokesperson for the NCC, Ikechukwu Adinde, told PREMIUM TIMES.

Earlier at the event, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, said Nigeria is hoping to have the widest 5G in Africa in 2022.

Mr Pantami said this at the auction of the 3.5 gigahertz (Ghz) spectrum in Abuja on Monday.

Mr Pantami said this at the auction of the 3.5 gigahertz (Ghz) spectrum in Abuja on Monday.

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

“Let us not forget that Nigeria has the largest digital economy in Africa, Nigeria has the largest telecommunications market in Africa, Nigeria has the largest internet subscribers in Africa, Nigeria has the largest broadband and we hope that by 2022, Nigeria will have the widest 5G coverage in Africa,” he said.

“It is because of this and looking at the general benefits of the 5G deployment globally, Nigeria as a country, being the giant of Africa, feels it is necessary for us to kickstart the process of 5G deployment.”


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