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Ghana searches for buyers of remaining 800MHz slot as MTN bagged one for $67.5m

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As the newly inaugurated President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo settles down to work, one of the foremost revenue spinning deal he is likely to seal is to encourage the National Communications Authority (NCA) to find investor for the second remaining slot of 800MHz.

MTN Ghana had picked the first slot during the auctioning last year at a whooping price of $67.5m.

Almost similar scenario played out in Nigeria during the auctioning of 2.6MHz where MTN Nigeria raked in six of the slots remaining eight before the end of last year.

However, telecoms stakeholders who gathered before the end of last year at a forum on how best to market available spectrum said there are better ways of disposing the natural resources.

Leading the opinion on joint purchase and spectrum sharing among players were the managing director of Spectranet, Mr. David Venn and a director at Ntel, Mr. Osondu Nwokoro.

In their presentations, they argued for spectrum sharing, a purchasing model that will encourage companies to pull resources together in the deal.

They objected to the scenario that seems to allow only players with deep pockets to carry the day.

Industry analysts made it clear before the regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) that direct auctioning process where the reserve price is kept too high will not encourage many players into the game, but the deep pocket owners.

The suggestion has therefore forced NCC to soft pedal and is now reviewing the spectrum selling model that will best fit the Nigerian telecoms industry in the bid to grow 4G LTE.

Just like in Ghana, remaining slots of some 2.6MHz is facing the problem of sales. It was not clear if Ghana’s NCA is working towards reviewing the auctioning process that only produced MTN as NCC is doing now.


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