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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Nigeria bars foreign operators on 3G


Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) has announced the barring of foreign interests from participating in the Third Generation (3G) and the 450 Mega Hertz (MHz) auction processes announced weekend.

Announcing this development came through the telecommunications regulator in the country, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), FGN said that participation on the proposed auction slated for April this year, is limited to local operators.

“Participation at the auction process will be limited to existing Nigerian Licensed Network Operators,” NCC said in its website.

The announcement, which came as the first public notice for the year, titled “Licensing of Spectrum in the 2 Gega Hertz (GHz) otherwise known as 3G and 450 Mega Hertz (MHz) bands,” NCC said, the notice was to inform and update interested parties on the bands in which spectrum would be allocated.

“… This spectrum can potentially support a wide range of services and technologies including 3G and Fixed Wireless Access,” NCC said.

NCC also said the notice would enable interested parties to know the allocation process and indicative timetable.

According to the timetable, NCC said it would auction the 3G licenses on April 2, and the 450 MHz bands would take place April 16, 2007.

NCC noted that the proclamation was to strengthen and develop the telecommunications services on the continent and Nigeria particularly. Stressing that this step is in line with its charges to implement the objectives of the nation’s telecommunications policy and Nigerian Communications Act 2003.

The Commission highlighted that interested parties would be expected to make submission of their issue on information memorandum for 3G before Friday, February 23, just as the 450 MHz would be expected on Friday, March 16, 2007, this year.

Bidders’ applications, NCC said, is required to reach the Commission for 3G interests by March 16, whereas submission date for the 450 MHz applications are due on March 30, 2007 respectively.

The auction date for the spectrum, NCC said will be in April with the 3G auctions scheduled for April 2, the 450 MHz has its date on April 16, 2007.

NCC said, the aforementioned timetable is subject to change, and advised interested parties to visit the Commission’s website on a regular basis for latest information.

Over the years, NCC has proved itself as an independent national regulatory authority for the telecommunications industry in the most populous nation on the continent.

Equally, NCC announced that information relating to the process will be made available through its website while applicants seeking further information should contact: spectrumauction@ncc.gov.ng.Meanwhile the three dominant telecommunications operators in the country, Globacom, Celtel and MTN have already expressed interest to that effect to NCC.


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1 comment:

OSB said...

where would local companies finance $150 million to support this project if foreign affiliation is alienated.
Are our banks strong enough to accomodate such heavy investment and are we really in dire need for lower tarriffs in Nigeria?