Nigeria to review telecoms licensing and moves to 5G auction
The Nigerian regulator has started a review of the country’s telecoms licensing process.
At the same time the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) announced on Sunday that it is beginning the process of licensing 3.5GHz spectrum for 5G services.
Umar Danbatta (pictured), CEO of the NCC, said: “The current licensing structure is almost 20 years old, hence the need for an urgent review of the existing licensing model to reflect new trends in licensing in accordance with international standards while providing opportunities for licensing. improved revenue for the government.”
He has set up a standing committee within the NCC to review the existing structure. It will look at “the wide range of technological advances, [and] convergence of technologies and services which have characterised the global telecoms space over the years,” said the regulator.
It will be a lengthy process, suggested the NCC. The standing committee will help the NCC start a process “which will culminate in the review of the terms and conditions of the various licence categories”. Some licences will be phased out and others will be amended.
At the same time the NCC said yesterday that it will also begin a lengthy process that will end up with it auctioning spectrum on the 3.5GHz band. First, though, the regulator will draft an information memorandum, and then develop the terms of reference of a committee to “include the development of an award process to be used pursuant to which the grant of spectrum licenses may be made”.
Danbatta said: “We have been able to secure harmonised frequencies for 5G deployment in Nigeria.”