Nigeria introduces unified licensing

1 Mar 2006

The Nigerian Communication Commission has revealed plans to introduce a unified licensing regime with the aim of turning the country into the largest telecoms market in Africa by 2010. From today, single concessions covering the provision of both fixed and cellular services will replace all existing licences, including the five year exclusive mobile licences granted to GSM operators in February 2001. The regulator claims that the even playing field will enable new technologies and services to be rolled out much more quickly as companies seek to take advantage of economies of scale. While most industry watchers agree that unified licensing is a positive step, concerns have been raised in some quarters that smaller operators may need protection from potentially anti-competitive practices of larger telcos.