NCC restates readiness for transparent licensing of 2.6 GHz Spectrum

The Nigerian communications Commission (NCC) has declared its readiness towards the attainment of transparent process in the licensing of the 2.6 GHz Spectrum. He said that the Commission was concerned with ensuring that it has transparent process in the licensing of the 2.6 GHz Spectrum.

The Director of Public Affairs, NCC, Mr Tony Ojobo said this during a recent stakeholder’s forum organised by the NCC in Lagos with the theme: ‘2.6 Ghz Spectrum Auction Forum: A Post Mortem’ which was organised to find out from telecoms companies why they exhibited apathy during the auction which took place in June this year.

Only MTN bidded for six slots of the available 14 lots on the spectrum band and emerged as sole approved bidder and subsequent paid N18.96 billion for the spectrum license.

Speaking further at the forum, Ojobo emphasised the commision’s efforts towards listening to the voices of the stakeholders in order to meet the national broadband plan.

“Based on the performance that was recorded in the last auction, the commission deemed it fit to hear from the stakeholders who are the primary users of this spectrum to determine what could be improved on and what other measures to be taken so that the objective of the commission is in line with expanding the broadband service across the country in which the objective of the national broadband plan is met,” he stated.

He assured the stakeholders and the operators that the price of the spectrum would be reached through a consultative forum and  ensure that all hands are on deck so that transparency and utmost integrity can be obvious.

Also, speaking at the forum, the Direcor of spectrum, who is also the Chairman of the Auction Committee, Mr Austin Nwaulune pledged that the sharing of the spectrum would be in tandem with the harmonisation plan and consequently sustain the trust of the the commission on the part of the stakeholders.

“Stakeholders and operators need to know without mincing words that the sharing of the Spectrum would go in line with the agreed harmonisation plan and strictly adhere to the principles and guidelines and rules and regulations of the ICT,” he noted

One of the stakeholders at the forum and the Director, External affairs, Ntel, Mr Osondu Nwokoro, lamented that access to local funding is a very big challenge to them as stakeholders and operators and advised that the Commission seriously take the opportunity cost and the scale of preference of the 2.6 GHz into consideration before embarking on it.

Also, another operator’s representative, who craved anonymity, canvassed a downward review of the spectrum cost by the regulator.

“From all our discussions today, you can see that most of the representatives of different telecoms companies were averse to the auction approach employed by NCC and they were seeking a review of reserve price. And if you ask me, I will say NCC should slash the cost by 30 per cent,” he said.