By Kester Omu
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, has given given reasons why the Commission decided to hold a public inquiry on the on the transfer of Licence and Resources including 800MHz Spectrum from Visafone Communications Limited To MTN Nigeria.
Danbatta said the decision is hinged on the Commission’s spirit of participatory regulation and the strategic objective of NCC to hold regular consultation with the industry stakeholders which include Operators and Consumers.
“We believe this Public Inquiry is a deliberation that would lead to an informed decision consistent with the Commission’s mandate to create an enabling environment for effective competition in the industry as well as to ensure the provision of qualitative and efficient telecommunications services throughout the country,” Professor Umar Garba Danbatta said at the event held at the NCC’s Headquarters in Abuja.
Meanwhile, the demand for Spectrum, according to Danbatta has increased due to the emergence of disruptive innovations such as Mobile Broadband, Web Applications, Cloud Computing (CC), Internet of Things (IoT) and the proliferation of smart devices amongst others.
But to reap the benefits of effective utilization of Spectrum as well as improve operational efficiency and regulatory excellence, the former University lecturer disclosed that the Commission in accordance with its mandate as enshrined in the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003 has embarked on re-planning of some of its frequency bands.
In 2013, the Commission re-planned the use of 800MHz band to accommodate technology development in the telecoms industry and new Frequency Assignments were conveyed to the Operators according to their frequency holdings in the 800MHz band.
Visafone is one of such incumbents on the Spectrum that got 10MHz FDD Assignment. Subsequent to the re-planning of the band, Visafone wrote to the Commission requesting for transfer of its license including the 800MHz Spectrum to MTN.