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NCC licenses 25 new MVNOs operators, rakes in N5.9bn



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The Nigerians Communications Commission (NCC) has licensed 25 new companies to provide mobile telecommunications services under the Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) framework.

These companies will be providing the same services as MTN, Globacom, Airtel, and 9mobile, albeit on the same infrastructure built by the old operators.

The entrance of the MNVO is expected to provide competitive offerings in the telecoms market and lower the costs of calls and data for subscribers.

Aside from lowering the cost of access to telecommunications services, NCC said the MVNOs would help to drive the government’s efforts to extend telecom services to more rural, under-served, and unserved communities across the country.

According to NCC’s database, 7 companies were licensed in the tier 2 category and these include: Routelink Integrated Systems Ltd; Hazon Technologies Limited; Asel Telecom Nigeria Limited; Briclinks Africa Plc; Pisi Mobile Services Limited; Univasa Nigeria Limited; and Imose Technologies Limited.

READ ALSONCC deepens mobile coverage, finalizes framework for MVNOs operations

Companies licensed in the tier 3 category are also 7 in number and they include: Amics Technologies Limited; Zegtel Limited; Telewyz Limited; Siu Telecommunications Network; Abrindex Nigeria Limited; Metropolitan Consortium Nigeria Ltd; and IPNX Nigeria Limited. Those licensed as tier 4 operators include Imbil Telecoms Solutions Nig. Ltd; Environmental Expressions Limited; and DMK Telecommunication Nig. Ltd.

In the tier 5 category, 8 companies were licensed. These include Systegra Technologies Limited; Choffan Communications Limited; Mab Consultant and Associates Ltd; H & Y Business Global Limited; Taima Technologies Ltd; Global Communication Extension Services Ltd; USKS Ventures International Ltd; and Paribas Communication Limited.

Through the issuance of the MNVO licence to the 25 companies, the telecom regulator generated not less than N5.9 billion for the government in licensing fees. According to the framework released by the NCC, the 10-year tenured MNVO licences come at different prices.

The highest in the categories, the tier 5 licence costs N500 million, while tier 4 goes for N200 million. Both the tier 3 and tier 4 licences cost N130 million and N60 million respectively, while the tier 1 licence is to be issued at N35 million.

READ ALSOEnsuring easy access to telecom services remains our core value — NCC

Speaking at a forum recently, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said that pursuant to the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA 2003), Licensing Regulation 2019, and other subsidiary regulations, the commission through the MVNO, would create an enabling environment where various players provide diverse services based on licenses, issued by the commission.

“In its drive to create an enabling environment, the Commission has introduced an MVNOs licence that will generate employment and bridge the gap between the unserved and the underserved in society. It will also further engender competition and provide choices for telecommunication consumers,” Danbatta explained.

While calling for more industry collaboration, the NCC EVC averred that the growing concern of over-the-top (OTT) players eating into operator’s ARPU offers a prime opportunity for MVNOs to partner with these players, therefore, directing some revenue back to the MVNOs through wholesale agreements.

As of February 2023, telecoms MNOs in Nigeria, the quartet of MTN, Globacom, Airtel, and 9mobile, had connected 323.6 million telephone lines, of which 226.8 million were active. In the same month, internet subscriptions via the narrowband stood at 156.9 million, while broadband was 48.49% deep in the country with some 92.5 million Nigerians on high-speed internet connections

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