13 December 2012

Nigeria: NCC to Go Tough On Spectrum Usage

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), on Wednesday, said it would be tough on the implementation of the 'use-it-or-lose-it' policy for assigned spectrum.

Dr Eugene Juwah, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, disclosed this in Lagos during the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Telecoms Executives and Regulator Forum 2012.

Juwah urged telecommunications operators to effectively use the frequency spectrum assigned to them for service delivery.

He said that frequency from spectrum was a scarce resource needed to be efficiently managed to ensure optimal allocation and usage.

According to him, efficient management will ensure availability of required spectrum for existing new and evolving technologies.

"The commission will ensure more effective implementation of 'use-it-or-lose-it' policy for assigned spectrum.

"It will ensure more coordination with the industry on initiatives to improve spectral usage efficiency via regular consultative fora," he said.

The vice chairman said that in order to ensure that spectrum was available for service delivery, the commission would re-plan and expand the 800MHz and 700MHz bands for Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology.

He also said that the regulatory body would expand the 2.5GHz band meant for the Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) to deploy more technologies.

Juwah said that the digital dividend could only be fully realised when the digitisation of the broadcast industry was completed by the 2015 deadline.

He said that with the giant strides made in voice telephony, broadband penetration still remained low, less than five per cent by some estimates.

According to him, the positive impact of broadband penetration on GDP makes it pertinent for a strategy to enable increased broadband availability and usage, hence, the need for effective spectrum allocation and usage.

Mr Lanre Ajayi, President of ATCON, said that the forum was a business meeting between telecoms executives and NCC, the regulatory body.

Ajayi said that the forum tended to articulate issues and proffer solutions to the issues, since there were a lot of challenges the industry operators would want to address.

Mr Mr Gbenga Adebayo, Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), said there had been cordial relationship between NCC and industry players.

Adebayo said that the cordial relationship had aided the growth being experienced in the industry.

"We must know what the regulator is doing and the regulator must know what the operators are doing as this will make the industry to move forward," he said. NAN

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