By John Ikani
Major telecoms companies in Nigeria have reached an agreement with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on instruments necessary for the deployment of 5G technology in the country.
The instruments are the Annual Operating Levy Regulations and the Frequency Spectrum (fees and pricing) Regulations.
The parties reached the agreement on Thursday, following a Public Inquiry organised by the NCC on the two key instruments at its headquarters in Abuja.
The event was attended by Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta and representatives of major telecoms companies such as Airtel Nigeria, MTN Nigeria, Glo Mobile Network, 9Mobile, and other stakeholders.
While Airtel Nigeria agreed with key issues regarding the instruments, MTN Nigeria pleaded for extension of time frame.
But Danbatta assured all stakeholders that frequency spectrum would be assigned and managed in a way that ensures fair pricing and efficient deployment of attendant services.
According to him, the two instruments were not only tailored to meet the challenges of the industry, but ensure that all stakeholders are carried along as the country prepares for deployment of 5G technology.
Danbatta said: “More importantly, this Public Inquiry is precursor to the Commission’s current drive to ensure efficiency in spectrum management and the unveiing of next generation services through varied enablers.
“It is in that regard that the Commission issued a Spectrum Trading Guidelines in 2018, to ensure frequency spectrum is readily available to licensees through an effective process.
“Furthermore the Commission has commenced the process for deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) Technology in Nigeria and is driving the provision of such ubiquitous services on making Frequeney Spectrum available to its licensees.
“The efficacy and reliability of these initiatives will be hinged on proper market valuation of the frequency spectrum and fair assessment of levies.”