The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), in line with Section 121 of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 has the responsibility to manage and administer spectrum resources for the communications sector efficiently and effectively. This is for the socio-economic benefit of the country.
Accordingly, it is the commission’s responsibility, as the industry regulator, to ensure that harmonised and standardised spectrum resources are made available promptly to ensure optimal utilisation. The impact of the commission’s regulatory activities in this regard is evident in the contribution of ICT and telecommunications in particular, to the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country.
The Act allows available spectrum resources to be licensed through different methods. Spectrum licensing via auction is one of the most transparent methods of assigning spectrum resources globally. It is important to note that the commission, in response to requests for more spectrum lots to be made available during the 2021 stakeholders’ engagement, had estimated 24 months to clear all encumbrances in the remaining two (2) lots of the 3.5GHz band.
The information memorandum that guided the 2021 auction process further stated the commission’s intention to migrate incumbent users of the remaining portion of the C-band to free up the spectrum and make it available for the deployment of new services. The commission has achieved the clearance earlier than the estimated 24 months, thus making the spectrum available for licensing.
A statement by the NCC’s director, public affairs, Reuben Muoka said the commission reiterated that, as a regulatory body holding in trust the management and administration of scarce spectrum resources on behalf of the Federal Government, it will continue to make available, the much needed harmonised and standardised spectrum resources to the industry. The auction is designed to boost competition by making it open to both new entrants as well as existing licensees.
We, therefore, wish to reassure all stakeholders and investors, that the processes and schedule for the auction of two lots of 3.5GHz Spectrum will take place as planned. The final information memorandum for the auction has been published on the commission’s website. Interested applicants are advised to adhere to the requirements as specified in the information memorandum for participation in the auction.