NCC restates commitment to give qualitative telecommunication services

By Constance Athekame

Abuja –   Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has reiterated the commission’s readiness to give qualitative telecommunication services to Nigerians.

Danbatta said this on Tuesday in Abuja at the public inquiry on draft guidelines on spectrum trading.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that spectrum is a range over which some measurable property of a physical phenomenon such as the frequency of sound or electromagnetic radiation, or the mass of specific kinds of particles, can vary.

He said that the public inquiry was to ensure that important national resource was optimally utilised for the delivery of qualitative telecommunication services.

“Today we see the frame work that will facilitate optimal utilisation of the resource where a telecommunication company that owns a spectrum will like to trade it or when lease is allowed.

“And that it can also be shared with another company, if need be.

“The rules of engagement provided in today’s public inquiry is to invite critical stakeholders in the country to make further input that will cumulate in the production of a final guidelines on spectrum trading leasing and sharing.’’

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The NCC boss said that the commission would give two weeks for additional input from stakeholders before the board would give approval.

“We are looking at two weeks to receive additional inputs there after the board will look at the draft and give approval within a month.

“Let me assure you that the commission will bring innovative ideas that will keep faith with global trend in the telecom market because this is the only way to succeed,’’ he said.

Mrs Yetunde Akinloye, Head Legal and Regulatory Services Department, NCC, said that the general objective of the guidelines was to ensure certainty and transparency in the processes of the commission.

Akinloye said the commission had outlined the detailed procedure and conditions for spectrum trading in the Nigerian Communications sector.

She listed the specific objectives of the guidelines as follows; to allow efficient and flexible transfer of spectrum to users that would optimise its usage.

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“Lessening the barriers to market entry by allowing flexible access to spectrum deepening competition.

“Promoting innovation by enabling entrepreneurs to acquire spectrum and offer new services

She added that the guidelines also covered various transactions through which spectrum could be traded on in the secondary Market.

“The spectrum transactions envisaged under these guidelines are: spectrum transfer, spectrum leasing and spectrum sharing.”

Mr Gwa Mohammed, Assistant Director in NCC, said that the commission received submissions from Airtel Networks Ltd., Emerging Markets Telecommunications Service Ltd., Smile Communications Ltd. and NATCOM Development and Investment Ltd.

Mohammed said that what was new in the guidelines was that anybody who had a spectrum could call on another person who did not have sufficient spectrum to share based on the guidelines provided by the commission to provide service for Nigerians.

He said when there were enough spectrum; it would drive broadband penetration because when spectrum was available it wouldtake service “to the last mile”. (NAN)

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