High cost of internet services will fall soon — NCC

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THE federal government through the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday said Nigerians will soon heave sigh of reliefs over the pain on the high cost for mobile and enterprise internet services from service providers, saying plans have been concluded to release a 2.6GHz spectrum frequency band that is expected to affect new subscribers internet pricing scheme.

The Director of Public Affairs NCC, Tony Ojobo, who spoke among lead panel of discussants at the Nigerian Entertainment Conference in Lagos explained that when new operators are licensed by next month(MAY) enterprise and mobile internet service will aftermath open to broader competition and consequently the current market price for the internet will crash.

According to him, grant stage will hold on May, 20th, 2016 while publication of provisional winners, notification of provisional award of license will be June 10, 2016. By June 13, 2016, winners will be expected to pay for the licence while June 13, 2016 will be the date for the publication of final result, he said.

Ojobo further stated that applicants must be a company registered in Nigeria with Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, and must be independent from all other applicants under this allocation. Similarly, he informed that applicants must transfer 10 percent of total bid price as intention to bid deposit, adding that licensed operators participating in the auction process scheduled to hold on May, 2016 in Abuja must fulfil all existing obligations to the Commission including payments for annual operating levy, spectrum and national numbering plan fees prior to the pre-qualification auction date which has been fixed for 17th of May, 2016.

“There are total of 14 slots. If the bidders exceed 14, they have to go into auction but when they do not exceed the number, they will be allowed to pay generic reserve price of $16 million”, he explained. He said that the spectrum is considered to be valuable national resource for which commercial opportunities exist.

The reserve price for a ten year license, according to him is dependent on the generic reserve price and the number of lots applied for by an applicant determined by the intention to bid deposit, IBD, paid. “The generic reserve price (GR) is the minimum price at which a lot shall be sold, which is the reserve price for one Lot of 2x5MHz and has a value of $16 million . “Each Lot represents one eligibility point. An applicant that applies for and pays the IBD for six Lots will have a total of six eligibility points.