Nigerian License Unification

Posted on March 12, 2006  /  3 Comments

Licensing Framework for Unified Access Service in Nigeria

In February 2005, the Commission issued a notice on the introduction of a unified licensing regime in Nigeria. It stated that:

The market shall be opened up by adopting a unified licensing regime which shall allow existing fixed wireless and mobile licensees to provide both services subject to geographical/regional limitations contained in their licence

For the post exclusivity period all wireless licences shall not be segmented in terms of mobile and fixed service categories. Once a spectrum is allocated, licensees shall be free to offer voice, data or multimedia services as they deem fit.

All active wireless licences issued prior to the expiration of the exclusivity period shall be amended accordingly.

Nigerian Communications Commission – REGULATORY FRAMEWORK Home Page

Indian policy since 2003 aims for unification of mobile and fixed licenses, but has been moving slowly toward implementation. Nigeria seems to be moving faster, though the critical issue of ensuring equitable access to desirable frequencies seems to to be unsolved in both approaches.


  1. Yeah yeah yeah….. And Sri lanka has a stupid cable t.v. operator sagely occupying the wireless frequencies which the rest of the world uses i.e. 802.11b, 802.11a, and 802.11g – Much kudos to the wallas in our “wonderful” government lol

  2. Nigeria issues unified licenses

    Starcomms, Multilinks, Intercellular and Prest Cable and Wire (Preste) have
    been awarded unified licences by the Nigerian Communications Commission
    (NCC). The four players will each pay 260 million naira (US$2.1 million) for
    the 10-year licences (see Nigeria: 6 March 2006: NCC Issues Final Unified
    Licensing Framework). The technology-neutral licences will allow the private
    telecommunications operators (PTOs), which currently use CDMA technology to
    provide fixed telephony services, to offer a whole range of telecoms services
    in their existing licensed footprints. Such services will include mobile
    telephony, as well as broadband internet access.

    These are the first of a batch of unified licences to be granted under the
    new regime. The other PTOs, as well as the country’s GSM operators, which
    lost their five-year mobile exclusivity in February 2006, will also bid for
    new licences to allow them to broaden the range of services. This symmetric
    approach to licensing should, therefore, all other things being equal, usher
    in greater competition in the mobile, local telephony and internet segments.
    The national carrier licences held by the fixed-line incumbent, NITEL, and
    second national operator Globacom, as well as all other existing licences,
    will, however, remain unchanged.

    At the end of March 2006 there were around 1.4 million fixed-line
    subscriptions in Nigeria, up from 1.2 million at the end of 2005. Mobile
    subscriptions at the end of March 2006 were 21.5 million, having grown
    strongly from the 19.8 million at the end of 2005. PTOs controlled nearly 1
    million of the 1.4 million fixed lines; the remainder were provided by the
    incumbent fixed-line operator Nitel.

  3. what NCC is doing still leaves room for so much to be expected by Nigerians. The impact as not really benefited the common man only for the organisation to sell spectrum at exhorbitant prices and nothing is done by NCC to encourage reduction in tariff.Now we are going into the era of mobile braod band through 3G and 3.5G and NCC is doing nothing to make the common man benefit.
    i wonder what they do with all the license money. NCC contribute nothing in terms of development of Telecommunication in our nations university hence i would say NCC lacks focus in the long term development of Telecommunication in Nigeria.