Home Big Story Did 2.3GHz spectrum winning bidder miss payment deadline? NCC answers $23.2m question today as auction deadline expires

Did 2.3GHz spectrum winning bidder miss payment deadline? NCC answers $23.2m question today as auction deadline expires

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Attention of Nigerian telecoms market watchers is now beamed on the nation’s telecoms regulator in Abuja, which is expected to confirm today if Bitflux Communications Limited, the winning consortium in last month’s 2.3GHz frequency spectrum auction, has paid the balance of its $23.2 million winning stake following yesterday’s expiration of payment deadline.[blockquote right=”pull-right” cite=”Eugene Juwah, EVC of NCC”]Following the outcome of the auction, Eugene Juwah, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, says that the winning bidder, Bitflux was given 14 working days to pay up, having scaled the initial hurdles with its winning offer for the wholesale broadband licence. [/blockquote]

This comes just as indications emerged that “no money was paid or received” by the Nigerian Communications Commission, the telecoms regulator that pulled off the celebrated wholesale broadband spectrum sale, according to people conversant with situation at the Abuja headquarters of the nation’s telecoms regulator that confirmed the transaction status anonymously to Technology Times late last night after it emerged that the expected funds did not enter the two designated transaction accounts of two Nigerian banks selected for the auction.

BitFlux, a special purpose vehicle comprising VDT Communications and other allies, emerged the winning bidder after staking $23,251,000 (twenty three million, two hundred and fifty one thousand United States dollars) as against $23,050,001 (twenty three million, fifty thousand and one United States Dollars) offered by Globacom, the second national operator and only rival bidder in the spectrum auction.

Following the outcome of the auction, Eugene Juwah, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, says that the winning bidder, Bitflux was given 14 working days to pay up, having scaled the initial hurdles with its winning offer for the wholesale broadband licence.

Following the outcome of the bid, which was over by the second round, Bitflux was awarded the provisional licence and was given 14 working days within which to pay up the balance $23,251,000.00 that excludes the initial bid deposit paid by the group to prequalify for the spectrum auction.

In a post-auction announcement, NCC said that “By virtue of Bitflux Communications Limited being the winner at the auction, the Commission is pleased to announce that in line with the provisions of the IM it has been provisionally awarded the 30 MHz frequency slot in the 2.3 GHz Band for the provision of Wholesale Wireless Access services.”

According to the telecoms regulator, “in line with the provisions of the Information Memorandum, Bitflux Communications Limited has 14 business days from the date of the provisional award (February 19, 2014) to pay their Bid Amount less the Initial Bid Deposit (IBD) it already paid.”

Juwah had said that, “if Bitflux fails to pay within the allotted time, it will lose the award, forfeit the IBD and the Commission will offer the one slot of 30 MHz frequency licence in the 2.3 GHz to Globacom Limited at its losing bid of $23,050,001 (Twenty three million, fifty thousand and one United States Dollars) less the IBD it paid.”

Meanwhile, the telecoms regulator is expected to confirm its official stance today on the major broadband transaction being implemented to complement the Presidential Broadband Roadmap Programme promoted by President Goodluck Jonathan to drive wider diffusion of high speed Internet services across Nigeria.

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