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5G spectrum licence auction kicks off at $199.37m

The Nigerian Communications Commission has begun the auction for the two slots of 3.5 GHz Spectrum available for the deployment of Fifth-generation network, known as 5G, in the country.

The auction is presently ongoing in Abuja.

Earlier, the commission had announced that three telecoms companies have qualified as approved bidders of the auction.

MTN Nigeria Plc., Mafab Communications Limited, and Airtel Networks Limited are currently bidding for the spectrum, and the first round began at $199.37 million as against the reserve price of $197.4 million.

The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy Isa Pantami has said that the deployment of 5G will help address the country’s security challenges.

Nigeria is planning to deploy the technology under the National Policy on Fifth Generation (5G) Networks for Nigeria’s Digital Economy.

The technology was largely criticized in 2020 leading to an investigation into its health implications.

Pantami said when the general benefits of the 5G is considered, the country will truly stand out as the giant of Africa.

He said, “If 5G is utilized effectively by our security institutions, it will go a long way in addressing many security challenges we have today in Nigeria.

“Firstly, there are many benefits of 5G over 2G, 3G and even 4G particularly, the mutual authentication of its network and 5G network is encrypted.

“So, this will provide an avenue for our security institutions to leverage on the technology and deploy many emerging technologies in the country to handle the security challenges we are being confronted with.

“Today, if you want to address the issue of insecurity, you will need things like robotics, internet of things and artificial intelligence. you will need big data analytics. All these emerging technologies cannot be deployed effectively without 5G, because 5G gives you real time communications.”

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