Wednesday, August 26, 2009

NCC confirms plans to re-sale 2.3Gh spectrum

... Partners ATDI on summit

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has reaffirmed its resolve to resale the controversial 2.3GHz spectrum as directed by President Umaru Yar’Adua, just as the commission said it has finalised arrangements with some stakeholders on the hosting of a one-day Africa Telecom Development Summit to be held in Abuja.

ITRealms Online gathered that the board of NCC, chaired by Alhaji Ahmed Joda, met last week in Abuja to review the issues concerning the recent 2.3GHz frequency spectrum licensing process and the issues arising thereof.

Affirming this, Head, Public Affairs, NCC, Mr. Reuben Muoka, said that the Commission has noted the published directive to the Commission by Mr. President to conduct a fresh bidding round for the licenses on this frequency band.

Based on the foregoing, he said, the programme for the fresh bidding round for licenses in the 2.3GHz band, and other frequency bands, has been initiated by the board of the Commission, and full details would soon be announced.

“All stakeholders are advised to look out for public announcements in this regard,” he said, advising interested parties to forget the events of the past months and join the Commission in fostering a nation where telecom services are accessible and affordable to all.

“The Commission pledges its absolute commitment to due process, respect for law, and unequivocal commitment to openness and transparency, and has always been guided by these principles in all its licensing processes,” he said. Additionally, Muoka said the Commission solicited for the support and understanding of all stakeholders in the quest to sustain the gains made in the Nigerian telecom industry in the last nine years for the benefit of the Nigerian people and the future of the nation.

Meanwhile, NCC is partnering with a pan-African non-governmental organisation, Africa Telecom Development Initiative (ATDI) and West Africa Telecommunications Regulators Assembly (WATRA) as well as the African Business Round Table on a one-day Africa Telecom Development Summit.

The first edition of ATD Summit is expected to assemble key telecom personalities, including regulators, operators, equipment vendors and policy makers, is billed for Nigeria, at the Congress Hall, Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, on September 10, 2009.

A joint statement in Abuja by the Executive Secretary, ATDI, Mr. Ken Ugbechie and Head, Public Affairs of NCC, Mr. Reuben Muoka, said the Secretary General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Dr. Hamadoun Toure, has confirmed his attendance as the guest speaker at the event.

Top Nigerian government officials are expected to attend the event designed to become an annual telecom forum to appraise the state of the industry in the continent as well as seek new ways to maximise the potentials of ICT for human and societal development.

ATDI is founded by progressive African professionals and business people seeking to promote a sound culture of progressive and sustainable telecom development on the continent.

The theme of this year’s maiden edition of the forum is ‘Telecom in the Service of Humanity’. The ITU scribe would open discussions at the event with the lead topic, titled “Sustaining the Gains of Telecoms Development in the Continent in the Past 10 Years,” the statement said.

The key sub-themes at the summit would dwell on Cyber Security, Food Security and Citizen Security, as well as carefully selected experts versed in the respective fields.

The summit which serves as a bridge between the policy makers on one hand and regulators, operators and consumers on the other will have in attendance governors, ministers and telecom regulators from Nigeria and other countries of the world.

Organisers of the summit are hopeful that it would provide a platform for African nations to share experiences, build synergies and fashion out strategies through which telecom could be widely deployed to aid economic development as well as forge effective integration of African nations in a globalised economy.

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