NCC To Facilitate 90% Achievement In Broadband Penetration By 2015 – Danbatta

The Executive Vice Chairman, Nigeria Communications Commissions, NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta  has revealed that the commission is providing industry leadership to facilitate the achievement of 90% Broadband penetration by year 2025, and well above 50% at the end of 2023.

He said, currently, over a One Hundred and Fifty (I50) million Nigerians have access to internet, while over eighty (80) million can access high speed internet.

Danbatta made this disclosure while giving a  keynote speech at the ‘Talk To The Regulator Forum’ in Yenagoa, Balyesa State on Thursday, June 1, 2023.

He stated that The Nigeria Communications Commission, in keeping with its mandate, creates opportunities to interact with its licensees on industry issues and new trends via stakeholder fora, with a view to gathering relevant information that would further advance the development of the industry, while improving regulations and service delivery to telecom consumers.

According to Danbatta, the telecom industry has witnessed milestones in more ways than one and this include the rapid growth in technology, which is redefining service delivery, and creating wide and high expectations from all stakeholders.  

He said: “To keep up to date with developments in the industry, the Commission has equally taken measures to improve regulations to accommodate the rapid and continuous development. Some of the interventions and responses of the Commission includes but are not limited to:

 Facilitating the Roll-Out of 5G Service provision and the Introduction of Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) Licence to bridge the gap between unserved and underserved areas.

“The Commission is currently reviewing the scope and structure of its existing licenses to make them more robust and to accommodate some of the identified new industry trends.

Also in  line with the Nigeria National Broadband Plan (NNBP 2020 – 2025), the NCC is providing industry leadership to facilitate the achievement of 90% Broadband penetration by year 2025, and well above 50% at the end of 2023. Currently, over a One Hundred and Fifty (I50) million Nigerians have access to internet, while over eighty (80) million can access high speed internet.”

The Executive Vice Chairman further added that the ‘Talk-To-The Regulator` Forum is a common platform for non-discriminatory interaction on a one-on-one basis, between the Licensees and the Regulator on several industry issues, pertinent to the Licensees and of national interest.  

In his opening remark, Mr Mohammed Babajika, the Director , Licensing And Authorization department, NCC also added that the Commission has finalized the framework for Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) and is currently in the process of licensing MVNOs. The licensing of MVNO will improve the telecommunication output of the country, enable the expansion and availability of quality mobile coverage and close the gap to the unserved and underserved population in Nigeria.

“While the Commission is fully committed in discharging its mandate, it can only achieve this with the cooperation and support of Licensees. The Commission therefore recognizes the importance of various service providers and seeks to constantly engage with these service providers and thereby protect the health and growth of the telecoms industry.

The Commission therefore hopes that Licensees will take advantage of this Forum to seek clarifications with respect to any issues such as: license obligations, renewal processes and procedures and emerging trends in the industry.

Mr Adeleke Adewolu, the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management Nigerian Communications Commission noted that the Forum is an opportunity for Critical Stakeholders to share their respective challenges, experiences and also suggest viable solutions to the Regulator. Constant engagement with the Regulator is the path towards regulatory efficiency as it preserves the integrity of the regulatory instruments issued by the Regulator whilst securing the buy-in of all Stakeholders.

He added that the Commission issued a regulatory framework for the licensing of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) in Nigeria as well as the requisite licence for such services and this has witnessed significant interest from prospective investors. New Market Entrants in this category can leverage on the growth and infrastructure in the telecommunications industry and it is particularly attractive to investors due to its low cost of entry in terms of capital expenditure.

“The Communications Sector is indeed the pace-setter sector as far as the expansion of the frontiers for national development is concerned. This was further underscored by the recent deployment of the Fifth Generation Technology (5G) services in the Country which we believe will ensure that Nigeria maximises the benefit of the 4th Industrial Revolution whilst being sufficiently prepared for any attendant risk that may occur.

A market study has shown that the deployment of 5G Technology Services will result in $13.2 trillion in global economic value by 2035, generating 22.3 million jobs in the 5G global value chain alone. Thus, the Commission has played an effective role in placing the nation at a vantage position in order to reap these benefits.

The exponential growth of the telecommunications sector is largely attributable to effective policies, legal and regulatory framework implemented by the Federal Government the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC),” Adewolu said.

Also, the Zonal Controller, Nigerian Communications Commission, Port Harcourt, Mr Venny Eze in his welcome address noted that the event which is coming at the heels of the licensing of the 5G network portrays the effort by stakeholders to ensure the availability, accessibility and affordability of telecommunications services to all Nigerians.

He said the forum also provides a veritable platform for interaction between the regulator and the licensees, on one hand, and other industry stakeholders, on the other hand. “It is a rare occasion that would enable the Commission to identify the challenges confronting and also to afford the Licensees, an opportunity to be educated on topical issues of concern, which would help them comply to the licensing terms and conditions, in the various license categories.

“There is no doubt that the NCC values the views and contributions of its stakeholders. It is our sincere hope that the views and contributions that would arise from this session would aid the Commission in the development and advancement of the telecommunications industry,” he said.

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