5G Technology: The Mock Auction Of 3.5 Ghz Spectrum Of The NCC Was Lucrative
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) successfully conducted a mock auction for the 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum auction in preparation for the development of the country’s Fifth Generation (5G) network.
iexclusive News Nigeria reports that the simulated sale, which took place in Abuja last Friday, was a warm-up for the major auction, which is set for Monday, December 13, 2021.
The simulation was carried out in accordance with the conditions outlined in the Information Memorandum (IM) for the 3.5 GHz spectrum auction. The IM, which was previously published on the Commission’s website at the start of the auction process, describes the methodology for licensing the 3.5 GHz frequency band.
MTN Nigeria, Mafab Communications Ltd, and Airtel Networks Ltd, the three eligible bidders for the 3.5 GHz spectrum, participated in the software-based simulated auction exercise using the Ascending Clock Auction System.
Prof. Adeolu Akande, Chairman of the NCC Board of Commissioners; Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Commission; Ubale Maska, Executive Commissioner, Technical Services; and Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, were all present for the mock auction.
Representatives from the bidding businesses, senior management employees from key Commission departments, technical consultants, software consultants, legal consultants, and other outside observers were among those who saw the mock auction.
Following the completion of the mock auction, the Commission will license two slots in the 3.5 GHz spectrum band, which will be chosen by successful bidders at the conclusion of the Main Auction on Monday, December 13, 2021.
The auction on Monday will be a watershed moment in Nigeria’s ambition to exploit the benefits of 5G for the country’s socioeconomic progress, as the country’s tangible 5G rollout begins in 2022.
Danbatta said the Commission had taken all necessary procedures to assure due diligence on the consultants’ legitimacy and the integrity of the software solution being utilized to carry out the implementation of this historic national assignment in a brief remark at the Mock Auction.
“This is consistent with the open, credible transparent and fair manner by which the Commission is known to have conducted previous auction processes, which have been locally and globally applauded,” Danbatta said.
Aside from the computerized fake, the Commission also conducted a simulation of the manual auction process to ensure a fail-safe method.
This is to ensure that bidders are comfortable with the manual auction in case there are any circumstances on the Main Auction Day that necessitate switching to the Manual Auction.
It’s worth noting that the electronic and manual forms are both explicitly indicated in the IM and follow the identical procedure.
At the Mock Auction, representatives from the bidding businesses, the Commission, the consultants, and other observers expressed pleasure with the simulation exercise, which also allowed the Commission to fine-tune the auction procedure ahead of the Main Auction.
The Commission published the Draft Information Memorandum (IM) on the 5G spectrum auction on its website (www.ncc.gov.ng) on October 7, 2021, and provided a public notice through main channels, including print, electronic, and new digital media. The Commission was given until October 28, 2021 to submit comments on the draft IM.
The Commission hosted a stakeholders’ engagement forum in Lagos on November 3, 2021, during which opinions from a wide range of stakeholders, including the major operators, were thoroughly reviewed and evaluated.
The Commission published the Final IM, as well as stakeholder comments on it, on its website and in national dailies on November 10, 2021, and set the bid deadline for Wednesday, November 24, 2021.
As a responsive regulator, the Commission went ahead and accommodated some stakeholders’ worries about social disruptions by moving the deadline for bidding applications from Wednesday, November 24, 2021 to Monday, November 29, 2021.
The NCC announced on December 1, 2021, that MTN Nigeria Limited, Mafab Communications Ltd, and Airtel Networks Ltd had successfully submitted bids in accordance with the IM’s requirements.
As a result, the Commission wishes to express its gratitude to all stakeholders for their assistance, collaboration, and partnership in getting to this point, and urges all stakeholders not to rest on their laurels until the bidding processes are successfully completed. Following that, the Commission will organize stakeholders for the next phase of the 5G policy’s implementation, as has become its tradition.