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ATCON plans roundtable meeting with NCC for way forward on Spectrum, Infracos

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Rising from its 2017 Annual general Meeting (AGM) held recently in Lagos, the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has given indication that it will very soon engage the regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in a way forward discussion on how best to auction and manage spectrum so that the resources will be put to their best uses for the country.

Another reason why it will confer with NCC is to see how both bodies can develop ideas on how best to assist Infrastructure Companies (Infracos) that have already gotten licences to rollout in Lagos and North Central zones but were trapped by several challenges.

Explaining more on the need for the strategic meeting with NCC, the President of ATCON, Engineer Olusola Teniola said “We have found it very pertinent to meet with NCC very soon so that some of these issues can be reviewed for the interest of investors and the need for the industry to move forward.

He said the two winners of the Lagos and North Central zones are now having problems accessing the Right of Ways to lay their fibre cables and if that is not resolved, we are not going anywhere in broadband penetration.

Earlier in a separate interview, leading investor and analyst in the industry, Engineer Samuel Adeleke, who doubles as the immediate past president of Internet Services Providers Association of Nigeria (ISPAN) argued that the present spectrum licensing structure is not enough to achieve the set target.

According to him, “NCC should take a look at the success rate of its auctioned spectrum licenses, for me, it is only the GSM spectrum auction that was successful, others were faced with issues of winners after paying for the license find it difficult to roll out services”.

He further revealed that “NCC needs to look at the proper use of its licenses moving forward. For instance, Globacom has invested in intra-city and inter-city fibre network, which are presently not in use. This infrastructure is required to increase broadband penetration in the country, the regulator should ensure the effective utilization of licensed spectrum,” he said.

While heaping the confusion on the current unpredictable economic situation in forex and other indices, he said “The situation in the country does not support investment, if an investor spends money in rolling out service, EFCC will come after him to query how he made money he is spending or return on investment is not guarantee because of fear that there won’t be demand for the service as people’s purchasing power is low.”

“Any regulation that will make businesses to grow or create right environment for success of business and not making money for government should be the focus of NCC and other government agencies,” he averred.


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