Nigeria is hoping to have the widest 5G in Africa in 2022, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has said.
Mr Pantami said this at the auction of the 3.5 gigahertz (Ghz) spectrum in Abuja on Monday.
Three telecom firms are bidding for two slots approved by the NCC, after meeting all requirements for participating in the licensing process.
MTN Nigeria, Mafab Communications Ltd, and Airtel Networks Ltd, participated in the software-based simulated auction, using the Ascending Clock Auction System for the mock session.
Each bidder went through a bidding room after participating in an opening round.
The State Security Services (SSS) was tasked with monitoring the representatives of the companies, who would not be allowed to leave the room until the process is over.
The NCC on Friday held a mock auction where all bidders participated.
The commission fixed the price for the bid at N75 billion ($197.4 million).
Mr Pantami said 5G technology can solve some of the security challenges in the country, since the technology provides real time services and platforms.
“Let us not forget that Nigeria has the largest digital economy in Africa, Nigeria has the largest telecommunications market in Africa, Nigeria has the largest internet subscribers in Africa, Nigeria has the largest broadband and we hope that by 2022, Nigeria will have the widest 5G coverage in Africa,” he said.
“It is because of this and looking at the general benefits of the 5G deployment globally, Nigeria as a country, being the giant of Africa, feels it is necessary for us to kickstart the process of 5G deployment.”
WATCH: Governor Yahaya Bello's Roadmap to Hope 2023