Again, NCC’s 2.6GHz spectrum auctions fall through

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

The planned 2.6 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum auction scheduled by Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) may have fallen through.

The commission had planned to start the auction from May 16 to 20, starting with mock auction on Monday and proper auction today (Wednesday, May 18). Neither the mock auction nor the auction proper was done.

This is the third time an attempt to sell the spectrum will be falling through.

During the tenure of the former Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, the auction was postponed twice citing need to perfect the plan.

The spectrum is part of the strategies of the Federal Government to realise the targets of the National Broadband Plan which seeks a 30 per cent penetration from current dismal penetration level of about 10 per cent.

The federal government, cash starved, no thanks to long years of mismanagement and falling prices of crude oil in the international market had also looked forward to making some $44 billion from the spectrum auction.

NCC Director of Public Affairs, Tony Ojobo, who spoke on the sideline of the Stakeholders Consultative forum on Licensing of 38GHz, 42GHz and Replanning of the 23GHz band at Sheraton Hotel and Towers,  Lagos, he assured that the auction will continue but failed to say how many investors have indicated interest in the exercise.

"I don't have that information about market response on the level of interest shown so far, however, whatever happens, the commission would look at the level of response and decide what to do.

"Investors and people are looking at how, where, when and volume to invest. This situation is not peculiar to Nigeria alone, but globally. These are the factors that will determine market response," he said.



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