The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), in an effort to reaffirm its commitment to licensing Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) in Nigeria, has stated that the licensing will be completed this year.
Prof. Umar Danbatta, the executive vice chairman of the commission, disclosed this information during a Business Remarks event in Lagos with the theme “Creating Awareness and Ensuring Sustainability of MVNOs in Nigeria’s 5G Ecosystem.”
Speaking at the event in his keynote address, Danbatta said the NCC was committed to improving telecommunications services, especially with the introduction of the MVNO license and the deployment of 5G.
“The commission has introduced mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) licences that will generate employment and also bridge the gap between the unserved and the underserved in society. It will also further engender competition and provide choices for telecommunications consumers,” he said.
Danbatta who was ably represented by NCC Director of Licensing and Authorisation, Alhaji Muhammed Babajika noted that the MVNO license is a Five (5) Tier classification that has distinctive services to be offered by the players in different tiers.
According to him, each of these license categories has a long duration of 10 years of validation tenure before renewal. Speaking further, he stated the commission is currently restructuring all its licenses due to global technological advancement. This includes the terms of the license, scope, conditions, limitations, benchmark and also the pricing policies as some of these are already obsolete.
Recall the Nigeria telecom regulator extended the deadline for the submission of applications for MVNO licenses following several requests by prospective MVNOs and MNOs arising from the magnitude of the grant requirements being the first of its nature in the industry and to get the Host Mobile Network Operators abreast.
Babajika who applauded NCC for introducing MVNO into Nigeria’s telecom space said the four weeks extension terminated on 11th October 2022 and applications are already ongoing an evaluation process.
For further clarification, he noted that a committee has already been set up by NCC management and the board for the evaluation and the making of appropriate recommendations thereafter.
The NCC Boss also advised that negotiations with host mobile network operators should commence immediately after the grant of the licence and such agreements will be filed with the commission.
” It is therefore imperative for industry stakeholders to collaborate on various efforts that will contribute positivity while continuing to ensure that operations are conducted within the respective telecommunication licenses, and that service challenges and demands are adequately delivered” Danbatta urged.
In her opening speech, the convener and Managing Editor of Business Remarks, Bukola Olanrewaju noted that with the appropriate regulatory environment and access to infrastructure, MVNOs in emerging markets like Africa can be steered in the same direction.
She said the Adroit Market Research predicted that the MVNO market will reach USD 112.0 billion by 2025 due to this growth and the latest evolutionary wave is seeing MVNOs capture 10 to 40 per cent of mobile business in developed markets.
“The introduction of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) is believed to add value for both operators and customers; for the operators by using their available excess capacity and for the customers by offering innovative and several niche value-added services that were not offered by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs),”. She pointed out.