NCC Suspends Licence Issuance to Mobile Virtual Network Operators, Others

May 17, 2024

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has announced a temporary suspension of new licence issuance to operators in three categories.

In a statement on Friday, the telco regulator said it won’t issue licences to Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) Licence, Interconnect Exchange (IE) Licence and Value Added Service Aggregator (VAS) Licence.

A virtual operator is a company that does not own a mobile spectrum licence but sells mobile services under its brand name using the network of a licensed mobile operator. Currently, there are at least 25 operators in the country.

The Interconnect Exchange Licence is a network facility that enables the interconnection of more than two independent connecting entities to facilitate the transfer of electronic communications, while VAS aggregators are non‐core network telecommunication services beyond standard voice calls. These services include internet, directory service, paging service, voice mail and prepaid calling card service, call centre services, content services, and vehicle tracking.

The NCC said the suspension is necessary to enable it to conduct a thorough review of several key areas within these categories, including the current level of competition, market saturation and current market dynamics.

“The public is invited to note that during the suspension period commencing on 17th of May, 2024, new applications for the aforementioned licenses will not be accepted. This is without prejudice to pending applications before the Commission which will be considered on its merits,” the brief statement seen by Business Post read in parts.

This, it said, is in line with its powers under the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 to grant, renew licenses and promote fair competition.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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