The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has recently granted licenses to 25 emerging companies, allowing them to operate as Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) within the telecommunications sector.
Although official figures from the industry regulator are yet to be released, Nairametrics analysis estimates that these 25 companies have collectively paid a total of N5.9 billion in licensing fees to the government.
Industry experts anticipate that the introduction of these MVNOs will bring increased competition to the telecom market, resulting in reduced call and data charges for subscribers and improved connectivity, especially in rural areas.
Further, their arrival is anticipated to introduce competition in the telecoms market and offer services similar to those provided by established operators like MTN, Globacom, Airtel, and 9mobile.
However, the MNVOs will operate on the existing infrastructure already built by the established operators. This development is expected to bring several benefits to subscribers, including competitive offerings and potentially lower costs for calls and data services.
An MNVO is a wireless communications services provider that delivers services to customers without owning the underlying wireless network infrastructure.
During a recent stakeholders consultative forum called ‘Talk-To-The Regulator,’ held in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state, Mohammed Babajika, the Director of Licensing and Authorization at NCC, confirmed that the commission has finalized the framework for MVNOs and is currently in the process of granting licenses.
According to the draft license, an MVNO license will be valid for ten years with the option to renew for the same term. The renewal is subject to the licensee’s request, which must be submitted no later than 12 months before the current license tenure ends.
The draft also specifies that the license can be revoked if the licensee operates beyond the designated scope or fails to pay the required fees.
Additionally, violations of the MVNO agreement between the licensee and the Mobile Network Operator (MNO), or any breaches of the conditions outlined in the framework, may result in the suspension or revocation of the license.