" ITREALMS: Nigeria to grant 4 licenses in 3G

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Nigeria to grant 4 licenses in 3G

Industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that four licenses would be on offer as the momentum for the Third Generation (3G) license increases.

Speaking at the special interactive session with the Nigerian media in Lagos, Thursday night, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe said that four licenses would be issued on this platform.

He also said that the money generated from the auction would be paid into government account in the Central Bank of Nigeria and in tune used for developmental purposes.

He expressed optimism that with the growing fibre optic infrastructure in place and being deployed by the likes of MTN Nigeria and Globacom, the 3G services would be well offered to the teeming subscribers in the country.

He noted that the reserved price is usually arrived at via scientific process, which currently is placed at $150 million.

He stressed that why the commission decided to auction the 3G is to make it as transparent as the 2001 GSM auction, which was widely acclaimed to be successful and transparent.

“Auction removes all argument; no kick backs and no long story,” he said.

Today, he said, that the commission has all it takes to ensure that the auction of 3G licenses would be a success.

“Today, we have the best of telecom lawyers, engineers in the country,” he said, even as NCC would continue to meet up with the expectations of Nigerians.

It would be recalled that NCC, had early February this year, announced the opening of bid for the Third Generation (3G) and 450 Mega Hertz (MHz) licenses in the country, which has been scheduled for April 2007.

The commission said it would be auctioning the 3G licenses on April 2, while the auctioning of 450 MHz bands has been scheduled for April 16, this year.

This resolve, NCC reiterated that there is no going back on its plan to peg the least price for the 3G at $150 million.

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