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Airtel commits to broadband deployment despite 5G auction process

By Adeyemi Adepetun
22 December 2021   |   3:20 am
Despite not emerging as one of the winners of the 3.5GHz spectrum for the deployment of Fifth-Generation (5G) network in Nigeria, Airtel has reiterated its commitment towards the enthronement of a robust broadband regime in the country.

Despite not emerging as one of the winners of the 3.5GHz spectrum for the deployment of Fifth-Generation (5G) network in Nigeria, Airtel has reiterated its commitment towards the enthronement of a robust broadband regime in the country.

Group Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Africa, Segun Ogunsanya, who commended the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for what he described as a transparent 5Gauction, disclosed that the Nigerian subsidiary of the company pulled out of the auction after submitting its final bid of $270 million.

According to the Airtel Africa CEO, “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.

“Airtel Africa 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.”

Airtel Nigeria lost the two slots to MTN Nigeria and new entrant, Mafab Communications at the auction. The two winners are expected to pay $273.6 million to NCC on or before February 24,2022.

Meanwhile, in a bid for a deeper understanding and better exposure to the global best principles and practices on issues bordering on spectrum auctions, spectrum managers and experts in related fields, converged for five days in Lagos for a master training class.

The weeklong drill focused on spectrum pricing and valuation with emphasis on auctions as a mechanism for awarding spectrum licenses.

The over 40 participants which cut across the Ministry of Communications & Digital Economy, the National Frequency Management Council (NFMC) the Nigerian Communications Commission(NCC,) the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and commercial banks, got an in-depth knowledge on the various types of auction designs and their associated risks, global case studies and examples of failed & successful ones.

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