Little known Nigerian telecoms operator Visafone Communications has emerged as the winner of spectrum in the 800MHz band and the licence to operate in 26 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) announced that only four licensed operators, namely GiCell Wireless, TC Africa Telecoms Network, Multilinks and Visafone Communications, met the pre-qualification criteria it had set, including payment of a NGN40 million (USD320,000) ‘intention-to-bid’ deposit, at the close of business on 9 July 2007. The NCC said that, after evaluating the bids from the companies, only Visafone met all the criteria to allow it to participate in the planned auction for the frequencies, and therefore it was declared the winner, conditional on the NCC receiving the reserve price of NGN400 million, less the deposit already paid, within 14 days. The spectrum licence will be valid for an initial period of five years. The three-carrier frequency spaces, totalling 3.75MHz in the 800MHz band, are 881.31MHz, 882.57MHz, 883.83MHz (receiver) and 836.31MHz, 837.57MHz, 838.83MHz (transmission), and the regions covered by the licence are Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Ekiti, Kwara, Edo, Delta, Benue, Kogi, Niger, Nasarawa, Taraba, Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Jigawa, Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto States and the FCT, Abuja. The spectrum was made available on a technology neutral basis, although it is particularly suitable for fixed-wireless and cellular CDMA operations.
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