FOUR NIGERIAN OPERATORS APPROVED FOR NEW UNIFIED LICENCES

Telecoms

Four operators – Starcomms, Prestel Cable and Satellite TV Systems, Intercellular Telecommunications and Multilinks Telecommunications – have become the first companies to be approved for new Nigerian unified licences. Starcomms and Prestel have now paid their licence fees.

Starcomms paid N324.6 million for a basket of licenses including long distance, fixed telephony, and national mobility. Prestel on the other hand paid $2.7 million (about N352 million) for national long distance services and full international gateway services. Intercellular and Multilinks now have less than 15 days to pay the license fees or risk losing the highly profitable offer. The NCC had a fortnight ago approved the four companies amongst applications from both local and international firms for unified licensing.

In the Unified licensing regime, operators are allowed to offer a cocktail of services among them wireline, fixed, mobile services, international gateway and internet services, and also choose to operate in a particular location or on a national scale. Prestel is the first company in the Niger Delta region to offer CDMA with other services like internet, satellite and Wireless Network technologies. NCC is expected to announce another round of winners late next month.

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