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Nigerian telcos demand reassessment of spectrum licencing

By , Nigeria correspondent
Nigeria , 16 Oct 2023
Nigeria's Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani.
Nigeria's Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani.

Nigerian telecom providers have requested that the licencing system and pricing methodology for 5G spectrum be reviewed.

ALTON, the Association of Licenced Telecom Operators of Nigeria, recently met with Bosun Tijani, the new minister of communications, innovation, and digital economy, to discuss the industry concerns.

Tijani encouraged the telecom to be inventive and reach the underserved in Nigeria's rural areas, and in response, the telcos expressed concerns over 5G spectrum distribution, claiming that the current approach was pricey and had become unsustainable for the innovation required for 5G services.

The minister stated during the ALTON meeting that companies must unlock telecom services for more people by utilising digital technology.

ALTON's chairman, Gbenga Adebayo, recommended to the minister that he (the minister) speak with the regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), on the proposed review of spectrum costs.

He stated that the minister must work with the NCC "to set more affordable prices for spectrum while taking into account the developmental benefits improved broadband delivery will have on our local economy, especially since studies have shown that high spectrum prices are associated with slower broadband speeds and poor coverage.”

The adoption of flexible spectrum licence payment terms, according to Adebayo, will be in line with the recommendations of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025, which will allow operators to spread payments of spectrum costs.

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