Bidders offer $204.388m at third round of 5G auction




By Ismail Auwal

The third round of the 5G Spectrum auction bid has ended at a price of $204,388,556.10, up from the $199,347,000 that the first round closed at.

All the three bidders went into the third round. At the end of the third round all three bidders agreed to pay the $204,388,556.10 that was on offer, qualifying them to go into the into the fourth round.

The first round which started at 12.58 pm, ended with a bid price of $199,347,000, up from the reserved bid price of $197.4 million. At the end of the first round all the three companies accepted to pay the current price on offer.

Using the ascending clock auction technique, the auction manager chooses what the price would be at each stage of the bid, according to a Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) official, Dr Shafi Ndanusa, an Assistant Director of Administration. He adds a percentage of 1% or so to the previously accepted price by the bidders, which is the price that will be on sale in the next round.

So, when the bid opened at round one the auction manager added about 1% to the reserved price of $197.4 million which brought the price on offer for the first round to $199.347 million. The three bidders were asked to agree to that price or reject. When the three bidders accepted the price of $199.347 million the auction, as determined by the auction manager, they were now qualified to go into the second round.

The second round opened at $201,367.740 following an addition of a fraction into the price the bid ended at in round one, which was $199.4 million.

 Following the agreement of the three bidders to pay the current price of $201, 367, 740 the auction manager would add another minimal amount to $201,367,740, at which the third round would go for.

The first round opened at 12.59 pm and closed at 1.19 pm, all the three bidders agreed to pay the current offer of $199.347 million. The bidders have no gone

The auction started with  a brief ceremony where the Minister of Communication and Digital Communication, Professor Isa Ibrahim Pantami , Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Board of Directors, Professor Adeolu Akande, and Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta addressed the participants and observers on the imperative of the spectrum auction

Pantami traced the trip from 2019 to 2021, when 5G technologies were tested in Lagos, Abuja, and other Nigerian cities and judged to be suitable and desirable. He also informed the audience about a follow-up study that found 5G did not pose any health risks.

He believes that by 2022, Nigeria would have the most extensive 5G coverage in Africa. He also believes that 5G will be able to address some of the country’s security issues because it offers real-time services and platforms.

Pantami also noted that 5G will go a long way in promoting the economic development of Nigeria, because digital technology is a key enabler of other sectors, especially the financial sector.

All three companies, MTN Nigeria, Airtel Nigeria and Mofab Communications that expressed desire to participate at the auction, having paid the 10 per cent of the reserved price are participating at the  auction that kicked off after a brief ceremony chaired by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.

The Chairman of NCC Board of Directors, Professor Adeolu Akande, said the purpose of the 3.5 Ghz Spectrum auction was to support the deployment of 5G technology in Nigeria, for the benefits of Nigerians.

On Friday, December 10, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) successfully carried out a mock session for the 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum auction for the deployment of the Fifth Generation (5G) network in the country in preparation for the actual auction.

The conduct of the simulation exercise was in line with the requirements stipulated in the Information Memorandum (IM) for 3.5 GHz spectrum auction. The IM is a document that defines the process for the licensing of the 3.5 GHz spectrum band, earlier published on the Commission’s website at the inception of the auction process.

Using the Ascending Clock Auction System for the mock session, the three qualified bidders participated in the software-based simulated auction exercise.

Today’s 5G auction promises to be another historic moment, after the iconic GSM auction that took place on Januarys 19, 2001, some 20 years ago. The NCC has promised that the 5G spectrum auction would follow the same pattern of transparency, the Commission is known for.

Communication Investments Limited, Econet Wireless Nigeria Limited and MTN Nigeria Communications Limited were successful at the auction which price peaked at $285 million up from the reserved bid price of $100 million. Three slots were contested for. A fourth slot was reserved for the government GSM company Mtel.

Although the Announced Price in the End Round was USD $300,000,000 (300 Million), offered by Communications Investment Limited, the two unsuccessful bidders, MTN and Econet ( Airtel)  were not willing to pay more than USD $285,000,000, so the price was pitched at $285 million.

Five companies went into the bid, at the time. United Networks Mobile Ltd and MSI-Celtel Nigeria Ltd which were the other companies that joined the three that were eventually qualified for the bid pulled out at some stage claiming the Nigerian operating environment cannot sustain the amount being offered by some bidders.

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