Following the announcement last month that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) was to award four blocks of 3G spectrum, details of the successful applicants have been released. The application deadline was 16 March, and of the 17 companies that initially registered an interest, four companies applied for a 10MHz block in the 2GHz band and paid a USD15 million ‘intention to bid’ deposit. The submissions have been evaluated by the NCC and found to be fully compliant with the regulator’s conditions, and as the number of applicants matched the number of licences on offer, no further allocation process is intended. The four bidders, existing cellcos Celtel, Globacom and MTN, and long-distance operator Alheri Engineering are each now required to pay the reserve price of USD150 million, less the bond already paid, within 14 business days. Upon receipt of cleared funds, the 3G concessions will be awarded.
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