5G bid price climbs to $263.1 million as bidders refuse to back down

5G phone masts are being set alight in the UK, after online conspiracy theories have misleadingly linked the cell towers to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), which is organising the auction, is offering two lots of 100 MHz in the 3.5GHz spectrum. The auction process, which started on Monday, December 13, around 11.30 am is still going on at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, as the three bidders continued to slug it out among themselves.

Ascending Clock System of Auction is adopted by the Commission, where the auction manager increases the bidding price at every bidding round, allowing the law of demand and supply.

In Round 1, 20 minutes was allotted for the 3.5GHz spectrum band for the 5G deployment bidding process with the players, MTN, Airtel, Mafab competed. The bid price was $199,374,000. In Round 2, the lot price increased to $201,367,740. At Round 3, which also lasted for 20 minutes, the price was increased to $204,388,356.1.

At Round 4, with all the players still in the race, the lot price rose to $209,407,962.50, and the process lasted for 20 minutes. For Round 5, the lot price rose to $215,782,901.30. At Round 6, the lot price increased to $224,414,217.43.

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Round 7 saw the lot rise to $231,146,643.96 and lasted for 10 minutes. Round 8, which lasted for about four minutes, saw the lot increase to $240,392,597.3, while Round 9 climbed to $251,210, 172.65.

The auction manager is the director, Spectrum Administration at Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Oluwatoyin Asaju. The auction is supervised by the NCC and holding now at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja using the Ascending Clock format.

Eligible bidders have 20 minutes to put in their bids.

Earlier, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami flagged off the 3.5GHz spectrum auction in Abuja at around 11.00 am today.

The auction started after a brief ceremony where the Pantami, Chairman of the NCC Board of Directors, Professor Adeolu Akande and Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta addressed the participants and observers on the imperative of the spectrum auction.

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In his address, Pantami traced the journey from 2019 when the 5G technology was tested in Lagos, Abuja and some other cities in Nigeria and found to be suitable and desirable for the country. He also reminded the audience that the test was also followed by an investigation on claims the technology had health dangers. He said the result of the investigation showed 5G technology had no health hazards.

He expressed optimism that by 2022 Nigeria will have the largest 5G coverage in Africa. He is also of the opinion that 5G, could solve, among others, some of the security challenges in the country, since the technology provides real-time services and platforms.

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