The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has announced that a simulated auction for the 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum auction for the country’s fifth-generation (5G) network has been successfully completed.

The commission said the simulation exercise was conducted in accordance with the parameters outlined in the information memorandum (IM) for the 3.5 GHz spectrum auction in a statement signed by Ikechukwu Adinde, NCC’s public affairs director, on Friday.

The NCC said the simulated auction, which took place at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja on Friday, December 10, 2021, was a warm-up for the major sale, which will take place on Monday, December 13, 2021, at the same location.

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The three eligible bidders for the 3.5 GHz spectrum, namely MTN Nigeria, Mafab Communications Ltd, and Airtel Networks Ltd, participated in the software-based simulated auction exercise using the ascending clock auction system.

Aside from the electronic method, the commission said it also mimicked the human auction process to ensure a fail-safe process.

Bidders should be conversant with the manual auction in case there are any issues on the main auction day that necessitate switching to the manual auction.

Umar Danbatta, NCC’s executive vice-chairman, stated during the ceremony that the commission had taken all necessary efforts to ensure due diligence on the consultants’ reliability and to protect the software’s integrity.

“This is consistent with the open, credible, transparent, and fair manner in which the Commission is known to have conducted prior auction processes, which have been widely praised locally and internationally,” Danbatta said, according to Adinde.

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Following the simulated auction, the NCC announced that the stage is set to license two slots in the 3.5 GHz spectrum band, which will be chosen by successful bidders at the conclusion of the main auction on Monday.

The main auction, according to the commission, would be a watershed moment in Nigeria’s desire to harness the benefits of 5G for the country’s socio-economic progress, as a concrete roll-out of 5G will begin in 2022.

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