NCC announces publication of final information memorandum for 3.5GHz spectrum auction

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By Ibiyemi Mathew

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has announced the adoption and publication of the final version of the Information Memorandum (IM) for the upcoming auction of the remaining lots of the 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) Spectrum.

The Information Memorandum serves as a guide to the upcoming auction of the remaining lots of the 3.5GHz Spectrum for the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) services in Nigeria.

Earlier, the Commission had published a draft IM and requested stakeholders to make comments and inputs into the document to enrich its contents.

Subsequently, stakeholders’ comments were collated and discussed at a Stakeholder’s Engagement forum hosted by the Commission on November 15, 2022 at Marriot Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, on the same subject.

At the Stakeholders conference, the Executive Vice-Chairman (EVC) of the NCC ,  Professor Umar Garba Danbatta reiterated that the Commission won’t auction the spectrum license to operators who will underutilize the service.

The Commission also rejected the request of Airtel Nigeria to grant it administrative assignment of spectrum to provide services in the fifth generation (5G) in the country.

Making the request at the Stakeholders’ Engagement on the Draf Information Memorandum (IM) on the Auctioning of Additional 2 Slots of 100MHz in the 3.5GHz band, at Mariot Hotel, the operator argued that its participation in the last bid round in the 3.5GHz spectrum led to boosting the Federal Government’s revenue.

However, the EVC of the NCC stated that the auction isn’t conducted to drive government revenue but it is primarily for the interests of Nigerians.

According to the Commission, “All comments have been considered and a final Information Memorandum to guide the upcoming auction is now available on the Commission’s website (www.ncc.gov.ng).”