The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has suspended the Spectrum Trading Guidelines 2018 for the Nigerian telecommunications industry. The Board of Commissioners of the Commission rose from its meeting recently with this position and is informing all licensed telecommunications operators, prospective investors, industry stakeholders and the general public in that regard.
The board had earlier taken the decision for Spectrum Trading in response to telecommunications global dynamics as well as the efforts to optimally utilize and maximize the benefits of the spectrum scarce resource. Spectrum is a scarce commodity which, when inefficiently utilised, greatly limits broadband coverage and speed. The current Spectrum Trading Guidelines were developed in 2018 after industry-wide consultations and this instrument allows that the Spectrum resource be traded on the Secondary Market through Transfer, Sharing or Leasing upon satisfying stipulated regulatory conditions.
The Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020 – launched by President Muhammadu Buhari, in Abuja last March requires that these Guidelines be reviewed to ensure that unutilised spectrum is fairly traded and to facilitate rollout by other operators among others. This is to address the need for ubiquitous broadband deployment to accelerate penetration and access in line with the economic agenda of the Federal Government.