Airtel has requested that the Nigerian Communications Commission(NCC) should administratively assign it one of the remaining 3.5GHz spectrum lots at the reserve price of $273.6 million.
The request was made on Tuesday during a stakeholder event in Lagos to review comments made to the NCC’s recently released Information Memorandum regarding the planned auction of two 3.5GHz spectrums for 5G deployment.
The telecom operator argued that getting one of the two 3.5GHz spectrums by administrative assignment would ensure it does not participate in another auction where the licence ultimately goes to the highest bidder.
Airtel had participated in the first auction held in December last year, which saw MTN and Mafab Communications emerging as winners.
The company pointed out that its participation in the first auction made the process competitive because MTN and Mofab would have been issued the licences at the reserve price if there was no third bidder.
The NCC however turned down Airtel’s request, noting that though it was a fair request, the process has been set out and the spectrum would be allocated through auction only.
At the last 5G spectrum auction, NCC had fixed the reserve price at $197.4 million. The price was pushed to $273.6 million, which was the final price paid by MTN and Mafab to acquire the licence. The $273.6 million is now the reserve price for the remaining spectrum lots billed to be auctioned on December 19, 2022.