By G9ija

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has declared said works are still ongoing on the licensing framework that will open Nigerian telecoms market for launch of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO).

It noted the MVNO licence framework, an important precursor to the licensing of a category of telecoms players, is not yet concluded.

Any reports contrary to the position of the Commission on the matter, it said, should be disregarded.

The Director of Public Affairs of the Commission, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, said in a statement that industrial stakeholders would be carried along on the progress made on the matter.

He cautioned against publications inimical to the efforts of the Commission to provide quality services for the industry.

Dr Adinde said: “For the avoidance of doubt, the Commission, on December 10, 2020, published on its official website, the first draft document on “Licence Framework for the Establishment of Mobile Virtual Network Operators in Nigeria.”

“The publication followed an industry stakeholders’ workshop on MVNO for the purpose of collectively examining the potential benefits, technical feasibility, market demand and appropriate model for MVNO adoption in Nigeria.

“In line with its regulatory procedures in policy formulation, the Commission, after uploading the document online requested for inputs, comments and submissions from industry stakeholders and other members of the public on the draft document, the collation of which are still ongoing.

“The comments obtained will be considered for possible inclusion in the framework for the formulation of a sustainable and efficient MVNO licensing framework, as well as a highly conducive regulatory regime that facilitates growth and development in the telecoms space, through competitive and differentiated services offered by these virtual operators.”

He quoted the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof, Umar Danbatta, as saying “The ongoing development of the MVNO licensing framework is not yet concluded much less opening up the telecoms sector for the launch of MVNOs.”

Danbatta, he said, believes that the MVNOs have great prospects, especially considering the government’s efforts to extend telecom services to more rural, under-served and unserved communities across the country.

He added that no action will be taken until the conclusion of the MVNO framework, consideration of inputs from all relevant stakeholders and the approval by the board of the Commission.