By Temi Olowu

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) announced a temporary suspension on issuing new licenses in three key telecommunications categories.

This move, the commission stated was aimed to facilitate a comprehensive review of these sectors and ensure a healthy, competitive environment.

A statement released by NCC Director of Public Affairs, Reuben Muoka, identified the affected categories as:

  • Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) Licenses: These licenses allow companies to offer mobile phone services without owning their own spectrum.
  • Interconnect Exchange (IX) Licenses: These licenses facilitate the interconnection between different telecom networks, enabling seamless call routing.

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  • Value Added Service Aggregator (VAS) Licenses: These licenses authorize companies to provide value-added services like mobile banking and content delivery over existing telecom networks.

The NCC, acting under its authority granted by the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003, seeks to promote fair competition and foster a robust communications industry. This temporary suspension will allow the Commission to conduct a thorough review of these critical areas, focusing on:

  • Current Level of Competition: The NCC will assess the existing competitive landscape within each sector to identify potential imbalances or areas requiring adjustments.
  • Market Saturation: A review of market saturation will determine if additional licenses would hinder healthy competition or limit consumer choice.
  • Market Dynamics: Understanding the current market dynamics will inform future regulatory decisions aimed at fostering innovation and growth.

The public is advised that new applications for the aforementioned licenses will not be accepted during this suspension period, effective May 17, 2024. However, the NCC clarifies that pending applications will be evaluated based on their individual merits.

This temporary pause on issuing new licenses signifies the NCC’s commitment to a proactive approach in regulating the telecommunications sector. The upcoming review aims to ensure a balanced and dynamic market that fosters innovation, competition, and ultimately, benefits Nigerian consumers.

(Edited by Oludare Mayowa;; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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