NCC Says New Regulatory Instruments Will Address Industry Challenges

Yemisi Izuora

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, at the public inquiry on three key regulatory instruments which held in Abuja on Tuesday explained that they were developed to address the challenges of the ever evolving Communications Industry and to further strengthen the market structure.

The Public Inquiry was in line with the Commission’s consultative approach in all its regulatory interventions.

The regulatory instruments being reviewed according to the Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Commission, are vital to ensuring that the regulatory frameworks that pertain to SIM Registration and Replacement in the communications industry meet the demands of the digital age and also further enhance the flexibility of the Spectrum Trading regime.

 

Giving further breakdown of the policies, Danbatta said, the first instrument, which is the Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulations, provides a regulatory framework for the registration of subscribers of communications services utilizing subscription mediums.

The second instrument, SIM Replacement Guidelines, provides guidance on the standards and procedure which Network Service Providers (NSPs) are expected to adhere to in the process of conducting a SIM Replacement, swap or upgrade. It is pertinent to add that the Commission has also introduced Business Rules for SIM Registration and SIM Replacement to further ensure that the process for SIM activation and Replacement is seamless.

 

On the third instrument, which is the Spectrum Trading Guidelines, the CEO said it

seeks to promote certainty and transparency in the processes of the Commission by outlining the detailed procedure and conditions for Spectrum Trading in the Nigerian communications sector.

The availability of spectrum frequency is a necessary element in the deployment of the Fifth Generation (5G) technology in Nigeria. Furthermore, the recent approval of the 5G Deployment Plan by the Federal Government makes this process expedient.

 

The Public Inquiry he further stressed was a precursor to the Commission’s current drive towards ensuring that frequency spectrum is readily available to Licensees through a rapid and effective process.

“Also, in view of the resolve of the Federal Government to tackle insurgency and insecurity through citizen identity management, it has become necessary to ensure that the provisions of the Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulations and SIM Replacement Guidelines are in alignment with the National Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration and related activities.

“It is also important to state that the revision of both instruments is geared towards ensuring a more secure and robust process for the registration/activation and replacement of SIM’s.

 

“It is our expectation that this review will ensure a more robust framework for the registration of subscribers of communication services, improve the standards and procedures for SIM Replacements and ensure effective and efficient utilisation of frequency spectrum.” he said.

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