BusinessDay

NCC declines Airtel’s request for 5G licence at $273.6m

Airtel Africa said the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) should set aside a slot of the 3.5GHz Spectrum for it at $273.6 million which was the price the Commission sold the last 2 slots in November 2021.

However, the NCC has declined the request insisting that section 124 of the Nigerian Communications Act has already set out the process to assign licences.

“Our reserve price was set after necessary benchmarking. We arrived at some idea of what the price should be. The auction determined what the actual price should be. If we have only one party interested that will determine the price. If the reserve price throws up a higher price, that new price becomes the new price,” Ubale Maska, Executive commissioner, Technical Services, NCC.

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The second largest telecom in Nigeria had participated in the 5G auction of 2021 in which it lost to Mafab Communications and MTN Nigeria both of which bid $273.60 million to defeat Airtel’s final bid at $270.

Airtel said the slot should be reserved for it as an administrative assignment for participating in the 2021 auction.