NCC finally issues telecoms licence to NigComSat

14 May 2008

Technology Times reports that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has granted a telecoms licence to Nigerian Communications Satellite (NigComSat), the government-owned satellite operator, in a concessionary move that it is hoped will quell a long-standing row between NigComSat and the NCC over the former’s plan to provide ‘last mile’ services to subscribers. The satellite firm has been granted a ten-year international data access (IDA) licence, the scope of which includes the right to provide voice and data services and full interconnection to the PSTN, but stops short of allowing it to provide fixed or mobile services direct to subscribers, according to the NCC. NigComSat had originally sought a unified access service licence (UASL), and in August 2007 the government ordered the NCC to grant it one, but this order was later rescinded after the watchdog refused, saying that NigComSat’s application did not meet the NCC’s legal requirements for technical expertise and other factors. The Nigerian Tribune reports that NigComSat is unlikely to be satisfied with an IDA licence, a type of concession of which there are now eleven holders.