The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has revealed plans to issue three batches of new spectrum licenses which will improve broadband development and fixed phone lines.
In addition to the new fixed licenses, the regulatory bodies will also put for auction the digital licences in the 2.3 GigaHertz (GHz) and 2.6GHz spectrum. The essence of these moves is to expand broadband access and make Internet more widespread across Nigeria in the new year.
Reuben Mouka, the NCC’s Head of Media and Public Relations, said: “We expect a lot of things to happen. We expect new licences; we expect mobile number portability (MNP) to start in the first quarter of 2013. The NCC will also bring to a close the lingering subscriber identification module (SIM) card registration with the final verification of the numbers in the database.”
Experts in the nation’s booming telecoms sector believe the need for the licenses is necessitated by the demise of the country’s first national operator, Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL), which offered fixed telephony services and code division multiple access (CDMA), fixed mobile lines.
The company’s operations suffered massive losses when its subscribers left in their droves, choosing mobile lines over the fixed mobile lines. The migration, experts believe, was largely due to the affordability of using mobile phones.
He added that in the first quarter, the commission will be releasing the results of the December 2012 test drive to ascertain the quality of service (QoS) from each of the CDMA and mobile (GSM) networks.