NCC announces suspension of virtual operators licence, two others


The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has halted the issue of new licences to operators across three categories.

There are three categories: Mobile Virtual Network Operator Licence, Interconnect Exchange Licence, and Value Added Service Aggregator Licence.

The commission stated in a public notice posted on its X account on Friday that the interim suspension is necessary to thoroughly evaluate numerous critical areas such as market saturation, competition level, and current market dynamics.

The notification titled “Temporary Suspension Of The Issuance Of Communications Licences In Three Categories” was signed by Reuben Muoka, Director, Public Affairs Department, Nigerian Communications Commission.

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The notice read, “In line with its powers under the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 to grant and renew licenses, promote fair competition and develop the Communications Industry, the Nigerian Communications Commission (The Commissions) hereby informs all stakeholders of a temporary suspension on issuance of new licenses in the following categories, Interconnect Exchange License, Mobile Virtual Network Operator License and Value Added Service Aggregator License.

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“This temporary suspension is necessary to enable the commission to conduct a thorough review of several key areas within these categories, including the current level of competition, market saturation and current market dynamics.”

A virtual operator is a company that does not own a mobile spectrum licence but sells mobile services under its brand name using the network of a licensed mobile operator. Currently, there are at least 25 operators.

The Interconnect Exchange Licence is a network facility that enables the interconnection of more than two independent connecting entities to facilitate the transfer of electronic communications.

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While VAS aggregators are non‐core network telecommunication services which are beyond standard voice calls.

These services include internet, directory service, paging service, voice mail and prepaid calling card service, call centre services, content services, and vehicle tracking.

The NCC said the suspension is in line with its powers under the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 to grant, renew licenses and promote fair competitio

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