NCC Outlines Spectrum Requirements in Nigeria

Internet

Lagos — The Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) has modified the conditions required to adjudge the eventual winner of upcoming 2.3GHz spectrum auction.

In an update on the requirements for a successful bid, the NCC said that it would allow the eventual winner to forge an alliance with an existing Unified Access Service License (UASL) owner.

The NCC said that a successful bidder without a UASL would be issued a Wireless Wholesale Access Service Licensee (WWASL) license upon payment of fees.

CAJ News learnt from a top NCC official that the commission currently charges about N374.6 million for the UASL license.

With the update, a successful bidder without the UASL license would now have to pay that amount to the actual N3.6bn (US$23 million) auction price.

The NCC had pegged a N3.6billion reserve price for the single spectrum being offered for sale as part of a Presidential Broadband Plan to promote diffusion of high-speed Internet services across the country.

The new conditions have now thrown the bids open to existing telecoms licensees and new entrant companies that are duly registered under local laws.

A total of 16 companies in the country currently have the unified access licences including three of the big four GSM networks as well as companies linked with big businessmen like Aliko Dangote, President of Dangote Group, Visafone Communications, owned by Jim Ovia and Smile Communications jointly-owned by Irene Charnley, ex-Director of MTN Group and Arab investors.

NCC also said that with the emergence of the wholesale broadband provider, undersea cable companies that currently provide both wholesale and retail broadband services in the market will be made to adhere to licence restrictions.

“The submarine cable infrastructure and landing station licensees will continue to provide their services based on their license conditions.

"The WWASL licensee may be a subscriber of the submarine cable infrastructure and landing station licensees for bulk International bandwidth. They are playing in different segments of the market,” the regulator says.

The regulator provided two accounts, one in Guaranty Trust Bank PLC and Zenith Bank PLC, where bidders hoping to pay in Naira can deposit their funds.

“Companies that wish to pay in Naira should pay the naira equivalent of the designated amount at the prevailing exchange rate for the date of payment,” NCC stated.