The National Communications Commission (NCC) has started issuing licences to Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) in a move to expand quality mobile network coverage and bridge the gap between unserved and underserved areas and population in Nigeria
The Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, disclosed this at the end of a two-day stakeholders consultative forum on “Talk to the Regulator” with the theme “Enhancing Stakeholder’s Satisfaction”, held at the Golden Tulip Hotel, in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
Danbatta, who was represented by the Head Pre-Licensing, NCC, Mr. Usman Mamman, explained that the introduction and rolling out of MVNO, was aimed at ensuring that voice and data communication services are accessed by the people irrespective of their location, adding that the commission was keeping to date with developments and new trends in the industry.
According to Danbatta, the ‘Talk-To-The Regulator Forum’ is a common platform for non-discriminatory interaction on a one-on-one basis, between the Licensees and the Regulator on several industry issues, pertinent to the Licensees and of national interest.
“The NCC in keeping with its mandate, creates opportunities to interact with its licensees on industry issues and new trends via stakeholder fora, with a view to gathering relevant information that would further advance the development of the industry, while improving regulations and service delivery to telecom consumers.
“To keep up to date with developments in the industry, the commission has equally taken measures to improve regulations to accommodate the rapid and continuous development.
“Some of the interventions and responses of the commission include but are not limited to: Facilitating the Roll-Out of 5G Service provision. Introduction of Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), licence to bridge the gap between unserved and underserved areas.
“The commission is currently reviewing the scope and structure of its existing licenses to make them more robust and to accommodate some of the identified new industry trends.
“In line with the Nigeria National Broadband Plan (NNBP 2020-2025), the NCC is providing industry leadership to facilitate the achievement of 90% Broadband penetration by year 2025, and well above 50% at the end of 2023”, he said.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Director, Licensing and Authorization, NCC, Mr. Mohammed Babajika, represented by Mr Usman Mamman said the “Talk to the Regulator’s Forum is an annual stakeholder’s consultative forum hosted by the commission, and was conceptualized to “educate Licensees on their various license obligations, provide a platform where Licensees can openly discuss challenges experienced in the course of operations and together with the commission proffer solutions”.
He stated further that the forum is to provide a platform where top management of the commission can receive feedback directly from the industry to aid in decision-making and assess the impact of emerging trends in the Nigerian telecom space.
The event which was attended by industry players, the media and other stakeholders also featured presentations and panel discussion sessions with top officials of the commission.