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Airtel Nigeria ‘still in 5G race’

Airtel Nigeria ‘still in 5G race’
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Airtel Nigeria is still tracking future 5G opportunities, Mr. Segun Ogunsanya, Airtel Africa Group CEO says, amid the number three mobile network operator’s loss in spectrum auction held Monday in Abuja.

MTN Nigeria and Mafab Communications Limited emerged winners of the two lots of 3.5GHz spectrum sold by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to advance the country’s plan to deploy 5G service by 2022.  

The Nigeria 5G auction, which is raking in $547,200,000 for the Nigerian Government, saw MTN Nigeria and Mafab Communication emerging winners with bids of $273,600,000 for each licence.

airtel-nigeria-still-in-5g-race
Dr. Abimbola Alale, Managing Director, Nigerian Communications Satellite (left); Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, NCC; Ubale Maska, Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC; Prof. Adeolu Akande, Chairman, Board of Commissioners, NCC; Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy; Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, NCC; Prof. Millionaire Abowei, Commissioner, NCC; Clement Baiye, Commissioner, NCC; Prof. Mohammed Ajiya, President, Digital Bridge Institute at the 5G auction held Monday in Abuja.

“The business case for 5G across all sub-Saharan markets is evolving, and we remain committed to driving broadband capacity in our various markets. We will continue to closely track the 5G ecosystem over the next several years, in particular the availability of affordable 5G devices and relevant use cases.”

Mr. Segun Ogunsanya, Airtel Africa Group CEO.

Why Airtel Nigeria Pulled out of Nigeria 5G Auction

Ogunsanya confirmed that Airtel Nigeria pulled out of the auction after submitting its final bid of $270 million.

The Airtel Africa Group CEO, who commended NCC for the transparent 5G auction completed on December 13, 2021, says its local subsidiary, Airtel Nigeria, will be tracking the 5G market opportunities.

“The business case for 5G across all sub-Saharan markets is evolving, and we remain committed to driving broadband capacity in our various markets. We will continue to closely track the 5G ecosystem over the next several years, in particular the availability of affordable 5G devices and relevant use cases”, Ogunsanya says.

“Airtel Africa”, according to the Airtel Africa Group CEO, “retains ample capacity, spread across various spectrum bands, in Nigeria and its other markets, to continue to meet the growing data demands of our customers for many years to come, with several potential routes available to the business to deliver even greater capacities, cost-effectively, in the long run.”

Meanwhile, NCC says that the winning bid price for the auction is $273,600,000 for each lot of 100 MHz TDD, and the provisional winners, MTN Nigeria and Mafab Communications are to pay the winning bid price, less the Intention-to-Bid Deposit, by February 24, 2022.

The telecoms regulator which says the strongest bidders have emerged provisional winners “raising a substantial amount for the Federal Government” underscores that the auction process “was efficient, fair, credible, well-organised and transparent and was designed to deliver the ideal outcome.”

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