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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

‘Don’t expect much from Unified Licensing regime’

Remmy Nweke

NIGERIAN telecommunications consumers have been warned not to expect so much from the on-going Unified Licensing Regime (ULR).

ULR commenced effectively in the country, March 1, 2006, and has since witnessed the licensing in the new regime of eight telecommunications companies.

The eight Unified License Operators (ULOs) comprise of MTN Nigeria Communications, Interceullar, Starcomms, VGC Communications Limited, Danjay Teleco, Bodex, Multi-Links Telecommunications Limited, Prest Cable & Satellite TV Systems Limited and Intercellular Nigeria Plc.

Telecommunications expert and group chief executive, CelTel International of The Netherlands, Mr. Marten Pieters gave this advice in a media parley in Tanzania.

While affirming CelTel’s interest in getting its own license, Mr. Pieters noted that building a mobile network is an art though scientifically and technologically driven.

The reality, he said, is that its very much dependent on the quality of the people that are working on it, hence there are differences on the quality of networks.

Another pertinent issue, as said by him, is the availability of frequencies, which he noted, “is a very limited thing.”

He therefore, cautioned that though the licensing is good, consumers should not expect magic.

“You must not see it (ULR) as a magic that will change the whole industry, because that won’t happen,” he asserted.

Mr. Pieters emphasized that it’s a kind of natural evolution, “a natural growth path that we’re going through.”

However, he did not reveal the date or period when CelTel would be processing its unified license in the country.

But indications are that the process could come soon after a successful take-off of rebranding Vmobile to CelTel Nigeria.

Permutations are rift that the rebranding would take off before the middle of September this year.

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