• Sunday, June 16, 2024
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NCC reviews MVNO license, others for market effectiveness

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has temporarily suspended the issuance of communication licenses to intending operators in three categories amid the stalled commercial launch of the Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) category.

The MVNO license, which was issued over a year ago to 43 operators, was meant to boost rural connectivity and lower telecom service costs, amongst others.

Chidi Aduzie, chief operating officer of WTES Project, said, “The essence of the MVNO is to bridge the connectivity gap in Nigeria. It is not just taking internet service to rural areas, but also connecting the people in urban areas that are not digitally connected.”

Read also: Firms partner to transform MVNOs operation in Nigeria

However, according to sources, it has failed to kick off commercially because of many factors, including a lack of agreement between licensees and mobile network operators.

In a post on its X handle on Friday, the NCC noted that the temporary suspension of issuing MVNO licenses and two others would enable it to thoroughly review several key areas, such as market saturation, competition level, and current market dynamics.

All the affected communication segments are Mobile Virtual Network Operator Licence, Interconnect Exchange Licence, and Value Added Service Aggregator Licence.

The NCC said, “The commission noted that the suspension is in line with its powers under the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 to grant, renew licenses and promote fair competition.”

MVNOs are companies that do not own a mobile network infrastructure but buy from mobile network providers like Airtel and MTN to sell to their customers.

Satya Mekala, chief executive officer of Wireless Technology Labs, said, “The MVNOs have the same license as mobile network operators like MTN, but they have to leverage MNOs’ networks to operate their businesses.”

The NCC noted that its directive will not affect pending applications, which will be considered based on merit.