Specure co-celebrates Nigeria’s successful 5G auction

Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) announced the results of the spectrum auction in the 3.5 GHz band. Two winners, MTN Nigeria and Mafab Communications, gained a 100 MHz block each for the 5G networks rollout. The proceeds from the 5G auction amount to $547.2 million. We at Specure are happy that we could help as an auction system supplier and contribute to the successful process.

5G auction in numbers

NCC organised the auction in collaboration with the ministry of communications and digital economy. The auction took place in Abuja on 13 December 2021. NCC chose an ascending clock auction format to distribute the spectrum. The auction ended after 11 bidding rounds, followed by an assignment stage. The auction results were announced on the same day.

NCC announced the 5G auction on 10 November 2021 and operators could submit their applications by 29 November 2021. Applications came from three companies – two from the established operators Airtel Nigeria and MTN Nigeria and one from a new player Mafab Communications.

The reserve price of $199.37 million grew to $273 million after the main stage of the auction during the very intense bidding. Airtel dropped off from the race having posted a lower exit bid than MTN. As a result, two available lots of 100 MHz thus got to know their prospective holders – MTN and Mafab.

Those two companies subsequently competed for a concrete block during the assignment stage. MTN valued acquiring of their preferred block at $15.9 million, while Mafab offered $11.12 million. Therefore, MTN had the right to choose. They selected the block 3500–3600 MHz, so the other one, 3700–3800 MHz went to Mafab.

Each winner must pay the winning bid price of $273 million by 24 February 2022.

Who is the newcomer

Mafab, labelled as a telecoms dark horse by a local press, was incorporated on 8 July 2020. It got licences to provide local interconnect and international carrier services, including value-added services.

The company operates as one of technological subsidiaries of Althani Group of a business tycoon Musbahu Muhammad Bashir.

What was the auction like

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta from NCC announced the results of the 5G auction. He expressed satisfaction with the auction process. As he said, the auction was efficient, fair, credible, well-organised and transparent and designed to deliver the ideal outcome.

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