" ITREALMS: No free 3G license for existing operators - NCC

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

No free 3G license for existing operators - NCC

Telecommunications regulator in the country, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has explained why Third Generation (3G) licenses would not be free for existing telecom operators.

ITRealms Online, recalls that some telecommunications operators in the country recently canvassed for a free frequency allocation, mostly now that Third Generation (3G) license
Giving this explanation while receiving in his office, executive of Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, said that there is no place in the world where frequency licenses are offered for free.

“There is nowhere in the world that frequencies are granted free to operators,” he said.
On the issuance of frequency licences and fees, he noted that

Dr. Ndukwe also said that the essence of the fee is to discourage speculation and charlatans.

The fixed fee, he added is to deter operators especially those who do not have anything to do in the industry to come for license.

He, however, noted that the rate charged by the Commission is based on some criteria.
He further said that the criteria could be adjusted if need be.

“As a listening organisation, if there are serious suggestions from anybody that could convince the board of NCC that the rate we have are not competitive or represent something that is different from international norms, then we can look at it again,” he said.

Speaking earlier, Chairman of ALTON, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, requested NCC to introduce an amiable relationship with the association.

He also urged NCC to introduce a means by which it would establish the true names and figures of the licensed operators in the country.

In addition, he said this has become relevant due to the number of registered telecommunications companies is quite below the number of companies granted various operational licenses.

Mr. Adebayo disclosed that ALTON currently has within its membership, 28 companies.

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