An unofficial report claims that telecommunications firm, MTN, has paid for the Fifth-Generation (5G) network license, ahead of the February 24 deadline given to winners of the 3.5GHz spectrum auction by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
MTN and Mafab Communications emerged winners of the two lots of 100MHz of the 3.5GHz spectrum to be deployed for 5G network in Nigeria at the auction process organised on December 13, 2021, by the NCC in conjunction with the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, in Abuja.
The two firms were expected to pay $273.6 million before the deadline. MTN as the highest bidder paid an additional $15,900,000 to pick the first lot in the 3500MHz-3600MHz to emerge as the first preferred bid winner.
Though NCC is yet to announce officially, an industry source, close to the commission, who is monitoring the situation of things told The Guardian that MTN made the payment two weeks ago. This was later confirmed by an official of the telco.
Speaking anonymously, she said, “MTN has cleared the 5G bill, the regulator should announce when it deems it ready.”
Also on the NCC website, MTN was listed among those who had paid their licence fees in full and had collected licence documents for the respective telecommunications undertaking before the era of reclassification of Licences into Class and Individual licences.
As stated on the NCC website, the licence secured by MTN is in the individual category. An Individual Licence is a type of authorisation in which the terms, conditions and obligations, scope and limitations are specific to the service being provided.
Process of licensing can take the form of Auction, “First Come First Served”, “Beauty Contest” or a standard administrative procedure, among others.