This brings the number of licensees to nine since the Unified Licensing Regime (ULR), began on March 1, 2006.
The first batch of Unified Licences were awarded to Multi-Links Telecommunications Limited, Prest Cable & Satellite TV Systems Limited, Intercellular Nigeria PLC and Starcomms Limited, while the second batch included VGC Communications Limited, MTN Nigeria, Dan Jay Telecoms Limited and Bourdex Telecoms.
MDC’s latest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) group has the former Chairman, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Mr. Akeem Bello-Osagie as its principal local person.
HANA recalls that on March 1, 2006, industry regulator, NCC, introduced the Unified Licensing Regime (ULR), terminating the five-year exclusivity on the licensing of Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) license, while the 15-year GSM license continue.
NCC, in a press statement made available to correspondent, said that ULR would open up the telecoms market for players who are in a position to offer multiple services without being limited to either fixed or mobile services.
Validating this development in a telephone chat, Head, Public Affairs at NCC, Mr. Dave Imoko, who also endorsed the press statement, said the steps taken so far by the commission witnessed a successful conclusion following the licensing of Mubadala as the latest entrant into the nation’s telecom market.
Mr. Imoko noted that on December 15, 2006, NCC’s board declared its intension to conduct auction of radio-spectrum in the 1800 MHz, 3G and 450 MHz, bands, which led to the new license to MDC.
The new license attracts 900 Mega Hertz (MHz) and 1800MHz spectrum offered to the consortium as the first of its kind in the history of telecom in the country. Previously, telcos mostly the four GSM operators, namely Glo mobile, MTN Nigeria, Celtel Nigeria and M-Tel operate, before the end of five-year exclusivity on 40 MHz spectrum package, consisting of 2x5 MHz in the 900MHz band and 2x15MHz in the 1800MHz band specifically for data delivery services, just as they have 15-year licenses.
Imoko further said that the new licence would attract more investment into the communications market and encourage the deployment of advanced technology to continue the development of telecommunications in Nigeria.
The allocation of more spectrums, he said, would provide an opportunity to attract new operators intending to invest and launch telecommunications services in the country.
He explained that the availability of more spectrums is in support of the federal government’s policy of improving access to communication services and extending coverage, especially into rural areas.
Pointing out that it would also afford subscribers to receive an increased range of services, quality of service and better value for money.
Founded in 2002, the UAE-based Mubadala Development Company is an investment conglomerate owned wholly by the government of Abu Dhabi.
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