Tuesday, July 06, 2021

National Roaming: NCC issues regulatory framework, says duration ‘must not exceed 3 years' - ITREALMS

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has issued regulatory guidelines on national roaming services, reports 
ITREALMS.
NCC also stated in the guidelines available to 
ITREALMS that only certified roaming providers would have their request attended to under the National Roaming Agreement (NRA), for a duration of 3 years.
According to NCC, duration of any national roaming agreement must not exceed three years from the date of execution.

“The Commission reserves the right to permit parties to renew the National Roaming Agreement for another 3 years. Any further extension must be subjected to the approval of the Commission,” part of the guideline available to 
ITREALMS stated.

NCC, 
ITREALMS gathered issued the guideline in compliance to the NCC Act 2003 on National Roaming as conferred upon it by the Section 70 and other enabling powers in that regard.

As such, NCC guidelines are intended to give effect to the provisions of licences which permit the licensees to enter into agreements for the purpose of providing National Roaming services in Nigeria, subject to the prior approval of the Commission.

“These guidelines are designed and developed to encourage National Roaming between Roaming Providers and Roaming Seekers within a predetermined framework to remove uncertainty and ensure seamless communication across all networks in Nigeria,” NCC source said.

The Commission that this guidelines shall apply to only the holders of licenses validly issued by the Commission which contain condition that makes the holder eligible to enter into a national roaming service agreement.

Other scopes of the guidelines, 
ITREALMS gathered, include that the national roaming services shall be provided within the geographical boundaries of Nigeria.

In addition, NCC advised potential providers to fully read the guideline in conjunction with the Act, “the Collocation Guidelines, Interconnection Regulations, Quality of Service Regulations, Competition Practices Regulations, other subsidiary legislations that may be issued by the Commission from time to time, and relevant Licence Conditions.“

On the legal provisions, NCC insisted that the procedure for national roaming entails that dully authorized service providers shall request and negotiate NRA with each other on bi-lateral and non-discriminatory terms.

ITREALMS equally gathered that Part II of the Legal Provisions provided in subsection 2 of the Procedure that “A Roaming Seeker requesting for National Roaming services shall forward a duly completed Roaming Request Form A contained under Schedule 1 of the guidelines to the Roaming Provider.

Additionally, NCC assured:

“(3) A Roaming Provider shall notify the Roaming Seeker of its approval or rejection of the Roaming Request in line with the procedure stated under Sub-paragraph (5) and (6) below.” While subsection (4) required that where the “Roaming Seeker receives no response from the Roaming Provider within 15 days of its request, the Roaming Seeker shall immediately notify the Commission in writing, and the Commission shall take necessary steps to ensure the Roaming Provider responds to the Roaming Request.”

Chuks Egbune/Editor

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