LAGOS – Dr Eugene Juwah, the Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), on Thursday said that the commission would auction 2.6GHz Spectrum band in May.
The sale is disclosed in a statement by the commission made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
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The statement said Juwah had advised interested parties to check the Information Memorandum (IM) for the auction on the commission’s website and be guided accordingly.
It said the IM defined the process that the regulatory body had decided to adopt for the licensing of 2×70 Megahertz (MHz) paired spectrum available in the 2.6GHz band.
It noted that the IM also provided information on the Nigerian telecommunications market, details of the spectrum to be made available, pre-qualification process, the auction process and indicative timetable among others.
It added that the Director, Spectrum Administration (DSA) of NCC, Mr Austin Nwaulunne, had said that the 2.6GHz spectrum had been influenced by the need to open up the space for the delivery of present and future generations of broadband services to subscribers.
The statement said that it was in consonance with the Nigerian National Broadband Plan of 2013 to 2018.
It added that the spectrum band was key for both new entrants and incumbent operators to offer high speed Internet to telecommunications users.
According to the statement, the commission arrived at the auctioning plan after wide consultations with relevant industry stakeholders to determine the best way to issue the spectrum.
“Based on these and observations of developments in the international licensing trends, the commission decided to license the available 2×70 MHz slot in slots of 5MHz to be aggregated by applicants through the spectrum auction process.
“The Spectrum will be offered on technology neutral basis.
“But for rollout basis, the commission will follow the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) recommendation, setting aside spectrum in the 2.6GHz band for the provision of Advanced Wireless Broadband Services.
“At the end of the auction, each winning licencee will be issued a National Spectrum Licence for 10 years and will also qualify for a Unified Access Service Licence (UASL),’’ it said.
The statement said that NCC opted for the auction for most of its spectrum sales because it was an efficient way to assign scarce spectrum resources.
It added that it was a better approach to manage competition and also a fair and transparent allocation process.
The statement said the NCC was determined to put in place measures to improve broadband penetration in the country. (NAN)