The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has promised the investing public of its commitment to ensuring transparency and due process in the upcoming auction of two (2) lots of 3.5GHZ Spectrum aimed at improving telecommunication services in the country.
The commission made this pledge in a Public Notice issued by its Director, Public Affairs, Reuben Muoka, stating that the planned auction is in line with Section 121 of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003, which empowers it to manage and administer Spectrum resources for the communications sector in an efficient and effective manner.
According to him, the initiative is being undertaken by the commission for the socio-economic benefit of the country.
Muoka stated: “The Commission wishes to reiterate that as a regulatory body holding in trust the management and administration of scarce spectrum resources on behalf of Federal government that it will continue to make available, the much needed harmonized and standardized 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 (2) 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”, the Director added.
He maintained that it remained the Commission’s responsibility, as the industry regulator, to ensure that harmonized and standardized Spectrum resources are made available in a timely manner to ensure its optimal utilization, adding that 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.
Muoka pointed out that the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 allowed available Spectrum resources to be licensed through different methods, adding that Spectrum licensing via Auction is one of the most transparent methods of assigning Spectrum resources globally.
He explained: “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 a period of 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 Spectrum and make it available for the deployment of new services.
“The Commission has achieved the clearance earlier than estimated 24 months, thus making the Spectrum available for licensing”, the Director added.