After almost three years since the last auction of spectrum licenses for mobile telecom services, the
According to the executive vice chairman of the NCC, Dr.
In a span of 12 years since liberalisation,
One remembers with nostalgia, how the entry of Globacom into the GSM market in late 2003 totally debunked the myth hitherto peddled about the impossibility of per second billing. The then existing operators, who had notoriously peddled this lie, had to tuck their tails between their legs and drop their unfair billing systems to join Glo in per second billing. This is the beauty of competitive enterprise which Nigerians hope more entrants to our telecoms market can bring to the table. In other words, with a new license and a new operator, we, the consumers, and all stakeholders are simply expecting something new, something consumer-friendly. The more operators we have in the field, the better for the consumer.
There has been an exponential increase in the number of subscribers and users which have frequently surpassed the capacity of licensed operators to cope in terms of service delivery. These days, there is an unacceptable increase in the number of dropped calls. Most consumers make their calls with trepidation because there is absolutely no guarantee that the calls would be completed without network failure. Internet service also suffers the same problem. Currently,
The new license will add impetus to the aspiration to turn
According to the NCC boss, the 'Vision 20:2020 economic blueprint is a long term plan for stimulating
For this ambition to be realised on the ICT platform, the sector's capacity to manage data must be enhanced. This is because, as aforesaid, data transmission across
It has been reported that the telecoms operators currently occupying the 2.3GHz frequency spectrum had opposed the auction of the license to new entrants. They reportedly proposed that the NCC allocates 10MHz extra to each of the three existing operators and expressed willingness to negotiate and pay for the additional spectrum frequency. They also asked the commission to use the remaining 10MHz as a guard-band to stop interference - a major technical issue significantly impairing delivery of efficient broadband services.
Without equivocation, however, the commission has stated its determination to go on with the license auction since there would be 'Retail Service Providers (RSP), which are expected to ride on the wholesale last mile provider to offer services to homes, businesses and schools'.
Juwah said the commission viewed the Open Access Model as the right approach to optic fibre transmission network deployment to create the required broadband penetration. The model, he said, would also assist on addressing the challenges of congestion, the challenges around infrastructure sharing, high cost of right-of-way and others: "The objective of the initiative is to stimulate a new national broadband network that is not only widespread but also faster and more secured than what is available today so as to boost other aspects of the Nigerian economy."
It does appear that the Open Access Model would potentially help to optimise the cost of broadband access across the nation and ensure that all operators, whether large or small, have equal access to broadband infrastructure.
NCC has adopted an open access model by throwing the license open to all prospective bidders rather than simply pre-qualifying or selecting some interested parties. This is to be expected of a regulator of a critical sector like this. Transparency and fairness are being cultivated, and the commission will be the better for it.
In fulfilling one of its basic functions, the NCC is again intervening at a critical juncture to add maximum value to
Preye, an engineering consultant, wrote from Port Harcourt.
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