The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says it has yet to conclude licence framework that will open telecoms market for the launch of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO). Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, NCC Director of Public Affairs, made this known in a statement on Friday in Abuja.
The commission was reacting to an online report which stated that the organisation had concluded work on the licensing. It categorically stated that such report was untrue, speculative, unfounded and should be disregarded in its entirety by members of the public. “The MVNO licence framework, an important precursor to the licensing of this category of telecoms players, is not yet concluded, contrary to the statement in the said media report.
“For the avoidance of doubt the commission, on Dec. 10, 2020, published on its official website, the first draft document on Licence Framework for the Establishment of Mobile Virtual Network Operators in Nigeria. “The publication followed an industry stakeholders’ workshop on MVNO for the purpose of collectively examining the potential benefits, technical feasibility, market demand and appropriate model for MVNO adoption in Nigeria. “In line with its regulatory procedures in policy formulation, the commission, requested for inputs, comments and submissions from industry stakeholders and other members of the public on the draft document and collation of which are still ongoing,’’ it said. The statement said that comments obtained would be considered for possible inclusion in the framework for the formulation of a sustainable and efficient MVNO licencing framework. It said it would also have a highly conducive regulatory regime that facilitated growth and development in the telecoms space, through competitive and differentiated services offered by the virtual operators. In view of this, the commission advised citizens and all telecom consumers to disregard any report purporting that Nigeria was now opened to the new segment of industry licences. The statement quoted the Executive Vice-Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, as saying “The ongoing development of the MVNO licensing framework is not yet concluded much less opening up the telecoms sector for the launch of MVNOs. “The commission believes that the MVNOs have great prospects, especially considering the government’s efforts to extend telecom services to more rural, under-served and unserved communities across the country. “No action will be taken until the conclusion of the MVNO framework, consideration of inputs from all relevant stakeholders and the approval by the board of the Commission.”