Nigeria Spectrum Auction Will Take Place This Year -Minister

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Minister of Communication Technology, Omobola Johnson, has said the planned 2.5 GHz band frequency spectrum auction will take place before the end of the year, in spite of regulatory body the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) expressing doubts it would happen so soon.

NCC director of Spectrum Administration Dr Nwaulume Augustine had earlier said he doubted another auction would take place this year after Bitflux won February’s auction for the US$23 million 2.3 GHz spectrum band licence, beating national mobile operator Globacom.

“The committee is still working. I don’t know if it is possible for the licence to be auctioned this year based on the fact that not so much progress has been made with regard to getting it freed from those users,” Augustine said.

However, Johnson said she expected the auction to take place, with it intended to make telecommunications facilities affordable for all Nigerians and bring about a five-fold increase in internet access and broadband deployment before 2017.

She was speaking in Abuja at the celebration of the 2014 World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD), with the theme “Broadband for Sustainable Development”.

“It is the intention of government to facilitate full rollout by operating companies of 3G networks with the potential for immediate transition to 4G/LTE as spectrum becomes available,” she said.

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