MVNO Licence Framework Yet to Be Concluded in Nigeria -NCC

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)  says it would would like to draw the attention of the public to a report in an online publication purporting that the Commission had concluded work on the licensing framework that will open Nigerian telecoms market for the launch of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO).

The Commission, in a statement of Friday by   Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, its Director, Public Affairs stated that such report is untrue, speculative and unfounded and should be disregarded in its entirety by the members of the public.

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MVNO is a telecommunications product and service operator that rides on top of the infrastructure capacity of a fully-licensed mobile telecommunication service provider or mobile network operators (MNOs).
 
It  provides mobile communication services, sells subscriptions and bills to customers under its own brand but does not have its own spectrum licence. An MVNO establishes an agreement with the hosting MNO from whom it buys a wholesale network capacity to obtain essentially the same possibilities to offer mobile services to end-users as an MNO.

 

NCC said “The MVNO licence framework, an important precursor to the licensing of this category of telecoms players, is not yet concluded, contrary to the statement in the said media report.”

 

It added that “For the avoidance of doubt, the Commission, on December 10, 2020, published on its official website, the first draft document on “Licence Framework for the Establishment of Mobile Virtual Network Operators in Nigeria.” The publication followed an industry stakeholders’ workshop on MVNO for the purpose of collectively examining the potential benefits, technical feasibility, market demand and appropriate model for MVNO adoption in Nigeria.

“In line with its regulatory procedures in policy formulation, the Commission, after uploading the document online requested for inputs, comments and submissions from industry stakeholders and other members of the public on the draft document, the collation of which are still ongoing.

“The comments obtained will be considered for possible inclusion in the framework for the formulation a sustainable and efficient MVNO licensing framework, as well as a highly conducive regulatory regime that facilitates growth and development in the telecoms space, through competitive and differentiated services offered by these virtual operators.

“In view of this, the Commission strongly advises Nigerian citizens and all telecom consumers to disregard any report purporting that Nigeria is now open to this new segment of industry licences, as the licensing framework has not been concluded.”

The statement further quoted  the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, as saying that the “The ongoing development of the MVNO licensing framework is not yet concluded much less opening up the telecoms sector for the launch of MVNOs.”

Danbatta said the Commission believes that the MVNOs have great prospects, especially considering the government’s efforts to extend telecom services to more rural, under-served and unserved communities across the country.

He, however, stated that no action will be taken until the conclusion of the MVNO framework, consideration of inputs from all relevant stakeholders and the approval by the board of the Commission.

 

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