BY Wasilat Azeez
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says it has begun the issuance of licences to mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) in the country.
An MVNO is a company that does not own a mobile spectrum license but sells mobile services under its brand name using the network of a licensed mobile operator.
Mohammed Babajika, director, licensing and authorisation, NCC, spoke during a recent two-day stakeholders consultative forum ‘Talk-To-The Regulator’, held in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state.
He disclosed that the commission has finalised the framework for MVNOs and was currently in the process of licensing them.
Babajika said the licensing of MVNOs will improve the telecommunication output of the country, enable the expansion and availability of quality mobile coverage and close the gap between the unserved and underserved population in Nigeria.
“While the commission is fully committed to discharging its mandate, it can only achieve this with the cooperation and support of licencees,” Babajika said.
“The Commission, therefore, recognises the importance of various service providers and seeks to constantly engage with these service providers and thereby protect the health and growth of the telecoms industry.”
On his part, Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman of NCC, said the commission was reviewing the scope and structure of its existing licences to make them more robust and to accommodate some of the identified new industry trends.
Danbatta was represented at the event by Usman Mamman, head, pre-licensing, NCC.
He said that NCC had taken measures to improve regulations to accommodate the rapid and continuous development to keep up to date with developments in the industry.
“To keep up to date with developments in the industry, the Commission has equally taken measures to improve regulations to accommodate the rapid and continuous development,” Danbatta said.
“Some of the interventions and responses of the Commission include but are not limited to: Facilitating the Roll-Out of 5G Service provision. Introduction of Mobile Virtual Network Operator, (MVNO) Licence to bridge the gap between unserved and underserved areas.”