Airtel Africa was the only operator to bid in the second round of Nigeria’s 3.5GHz spectrum auction, with its rivals refraining from registering interest or paying an intention to bid deposit.
The Nigerian Communications Commission stated that the auction was completed on Monday with only Airtel and Standard Network & Connections (Standard Network) registering interest. However, the Bharti Airtel subsidiary was the only one to make an actual bid for the 5G airwaves.
Standard Network appealed to the NCC to delay the Monday deadline by 12 working days but the commission said this was “not acceptable in view of the auction timetable.”
“Having met all the provisions in the Information Memorandum, Airtel has therefore emerged as the sole bidder,” the NCC wrote in its statement.
“Consequently, there shall be no further bidding and the Commission will proceed to the Assignment Stage in line with the published Information Memorandum guiding the licensing process.”
In the first auction, the commission put up two lots of 100MHz TDD spectrum in the 3.5GHz band that were acquired by MTN and Mafab in December last year, paying US$273.6 million each for a 10-year licence. Airtel pulled out of that auction.