Ahead of this month’s frequency spectrum auction in the 2.6GHz band, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that it also expects foreign firms to participate in the auctioning processes.
While debunking claims that the commission wanted to use the auction, which is slated for May 16, to rake in money for the Federal Government, the telecoms regulator said the success of the exercise holds much more for Nigeria’s broadband penetration target.
Indeed, the successful auction of the 2.6GHz spectrum frequency is expected to fetch the Federal Government about N44 billion ($224 million) from the 14 slots that would be offered for auction.
Speaking at an interactive session with the media on the proposed ‘2.6GHz Licence Auction’ in Lagos yesterday, Director, Spectrum Administration at NCC, Austine Nwaulune, while making reference to the Information Memorandum (IM) on the auction, said applicants in the allocation process would not be required as a pre-qualification criterion to hold any telecommunications operational licence in Nigeria.
NCC also said that licensed operators participating in the process must fulfil all existing obligations to the commission, including payments of Annual Operating Levy (AOL); Spectrum and National Numbering Plan fees prior to pre-qualification.
On the importance of the 2.6GHz spectrum to Nigeria, Nwaulune said that about 108 networks across the globe have been rolled out on the frequency, stressing that countries, including Ghana, United Kingdom (UK), United States (U.S.), among others, currently operate on it and “as such, Nigeria cannot afford to be left out.”