The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has confirmed applications for the sought after 2.3GHz spectrum frequency are now open to new and existing players in the mobile data space.
HumanIPO reported last month the regulator was planning to auction the licence in January, although it was not clear which bidders were being encouraged since some regulators include conditions which only allow for new entrants to improve competition.
Eugene Juwah, executive vice chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of the NCC, said: “The commission, in consideration of the role of wholesale broadband services to the success of its Open Access Broadband Strategy, has decided that there shall be no restriction with respect to who qualifies to participate in the auction, provided that the applicant is a company duly registered in Nigeria with the Corporate Affairs Commission.”
The 2.3GHz frequency is ideal for LTE deployment and is likely to be in high-demand with no such networks currently live in the West African country.
MTN Nigeria expects to go live within the next few months and will be joined by niche data-player Smile Communications, which is also almost commercially ready for activation.
HumanIPO reported yesterday (Tuesday) Nigeria was now working alongside the Alliance For Affordable Internet (A4AI) to improve access and affordability, and the NCC published its draft plans for the rollout of its Next Generation Broadband Network (NGBN) last month, which included the recommendation to use 2.3Ghz spectrum for last mile access.