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NCC to surpass 5G revenue target, sets remaining licences at N119.4bn

Mobile Virtual Operators target 27m Nigerians without access to telecom

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is set to auction the remaining two lots of 100 MHz in the 3.5 GHz band to support the delivery of broadband services and meet projected revenue of over N500 billion.

This is barely five months after MTN and Mafab Communications emerged as winners of the first two lots auctioned by the NCC. So far, MTN is the only telecom operator that has launched its 5G services starting from Lagos and plans to reach 7 states in the coming months. Mafa Communications had on 21 August requested an extended deployment period for the service which the commission obliged with 5 months extension.

The two 5G licences have been reserved each at $273.60 million (N119.4 billion when converted at N436. 61 official rates), the same rate that MTN and Mafab each bid to secure the licence. The two companies eventually paid $574.2 million and the NCC said it generated N57 billion in local value in the first quarter of 2022.

At N119.4 billion for each of the remaining licences, the NCC stands to generate over N238.91 billion from the sale. There is also the possibility that the investors could bid more than $273.60 million. The commission also collects other fees from the winners of the licences before they can deploy the 5G to the market. This takes the total revenue from the four licences to over N500 billion.

According to the new Information Memorandum (IM) released by the NCC, prospective licencees are to submit a completed application, including appropriate template documentation and confirmation of transfer of the Intention-to-Bid Deposit (IBD), by 17.00 hours West African Time (WAT) on 05 December 2022.

Applicants (Domestic and Foreign) are not required to be Licensed Network Operators but must be incorporated in Nigeria before the Licence is issued. Applicants will be subject to a set of pre-qualification criteria and only those that meet these criteria will be allowed to take part in the Auction.

“On completion of the Auction, each Successful Bidder will be deemed to have been awarded a provisional licence and will be required to pay the balance (Winning Bid Amount Less the IBD) of the Spectrum licence fees due to the Commission on or before 20 January 2023,” the IM read.