Blackbox Nigeria

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How unknown telco beat Airtel to win Nigeria’s 5G license

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The emergence of Mafab Communications Ltd as one of the two winners of the keenly contested 5G spectrum auction by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) came as surprising to many.

The auction took place on Monday, at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

Three companies were named as qualified bidders for the 3.5 GHz spectrum, namely: MTN Nigeria, Mafab Communications Ltd, and Airtel Networks Ltd.

However, in an unexpected twist of events, Airtel Nigeria withdrew from the race at the 11th round after the reserve price per lot reached $275,904,886.25.

On moving to the assignment stage, MTN Nigeria offered $15,900,00 and was assigned lot one, while Mafab offered $11,120,000 to secure the second lot.

Meanwhile, TheCable reported that the underdog company, Mafab Communications was incorporated on the July 8, 2020, and licensed by the NCC to provide and operate Local Interconnect and International carrier services.

The company is said to be one of the technological subsidiaries of Althani Group, a business conglomerate chaired by a businessman known as Musbahu Muhammad Bashir.

Bashir, a well-read businessman with certifications from high-profile institutions across the globe, also chairs the board of his two companies: Althani Group of Companies and Cobalt International Services Limited.

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