Airtel Emerges Sole Bidder For 5G Licence After Payment Of $27m Deposit
Telecoms company, Airtel Nigeria Limited, has emerged as the sole bidder for the deployment of 5G technology.
The Nigerian Communications Commission said that Airtel applied for the 3.5GHz spectrum alongside Standard Network & Connections Limited, but only Airtel made the initial payment required.
In a statement on Wednesday, the commission said after the close of business on Monday, December 5, 2022, being the deadline for the payment of IBD, only two companies expressed interest in the auction of the 3.5GHz spectrum band.
The companies were Airtel Networks Limited (Airtel) and Standard Network & Connections Limited (Standard Network).
NCC added that Standard Network requested an extension, but it was declined.
It, therefore, said there would be no further bidding as Airtel proceeds to the assignment stage.
The assignment stage is an auction mechanism to resolve any such conflicts and where the winning bidder (s) will specify the date for the payment of the upfront fee.
“Only Airtel paid the intention-to-bid deposit (IBD) as stipulated in the information memorandum (IM) whereas Standard Network sent an email appeal for the deadline to be extended by twelve (12) working days which was not acceptable in view of the auction timetable,” the statement reads.
“Having met all the provisions in the IM, Airtel has, therefore, emerged as the sole bidder.
“Consequently, there shall be no further bidding and the commission will proceed to the assignment stage in line with the published information memorandum guiding the licensing process.”
Meanwhile, according to the IM, at the assignment stage, any winner not interested in participating will be offered the available lot after the assignment round has been concluded.
The assignment stage is a single round with no upper limit but a lower limit of $11,120,000 for each selection.
Last year, Airtel dropped out of the bidding process while MTN and Mafab Communications emerged as winners of the 5G spectrum auction.