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NCC importance of MVNOs in Nigeria

NCC importance of MVNOs in Nigeria

The Executive Vice-President of the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Danbatta, reiterated the importance and role of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) in advancing and driving Nigeria’s digital economy agenda.

A mobile virtual network operator is a wireless communications service provider that does not own the wireless network infrastructure on which it provides services to its customers.

It is believed that they have immense value for the mobile telecommunications industry, since they provide services at an affordable price for customers and work with mobile network operators (MNO) that are owners of the telecommunications infrastructure.

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Danbatta, who was represented by Muhammed Babajiks, director of licenses and permits at the NCC, at the second edition of the Telecommunications Industry Sustainability Forum (TSSF) organized by Business Remarks, said the NCC was committed to improving telecom services, especially with the introduction of Licence MVNO and 5G.

“The commission introduced mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) licenses to generate more employees and also help close the large gap between the underprivileged in local society. It will also generate more competition and offer options to telecom consumers,” he said.

The MVNO license is a five-level rank with distinct services to be offered by players at different levels.

“Level 1 is an MVNO, fully reliant on tightly rate-controlled hosting facilities; level 2 simple basic installations for operator laying smart grid and have flexibility to tariff control; the third level is the central facility operator who can negotiate interconnection agreements; it has important tariff control, level four is a virtual aggregator/enabler, which performs the aggregation and enablement, but only operates in regions without service; level five is the unified virtual operator, which has the freedom to operate in all segments/tiers.

Danbatta urged stakeholders to work together to ensure operations are carried out within their respective telecom licenses and that service challenges and demands are properly met.

In her opening remarks, Business Remarks editor Bukola Olanrewaju said, according to the GMSA Sub-Saharan Mobile Economy Report 2021, mobile networks have become a lifeline for people and businesses during this time, especially where adoption of mobile services such as mobile data and mobile money. It is estimated that in sub-Saharan Africa there will be 120 million new subscribers by 2025, bringing the total number of subscribers to 615 million (50% of the region’s population).

The growing number of mobile subscribers, technological advancements and demand for connectivity have also played an important role in creating a significant opportunity for MVNOs to thrive in the industry.”

Olanrewaju also said that a McKinsey article indicated that the latest evolutionary wave is seeing MVNOs capture 10 to 40 percent of mobile business in developed markets. Furthermore, mobile technology is playing an increasingly important role for consumers and businesses alike, and for many Nigerians, the mobile internet is their first and only option for accessing the Internet”.

The editor of Business Remarks said this increased growth and adoption has created an opportunity for the MVNO to offer new digital solutions to small and large businesses and customers.

For his part, Yemi Oshodi, CEO of Information Connectivity Solution Limited, said that operating MVNO in Nigeria was quite expensive and agreed that the government could help turn it around.

“The MVNO capital is very expensive in Nigeria. So, the question is how to earn money in MVNO in Nigeria, but even with these low incomes, today there are ways to earn money”, said Oshodi.

“About associations, Nigeria has its own unique problems. There is a need to respect contractual rights. Nigerians are known to violate contracts quite often.

By A W Moghul

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