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NCC Reviews Three Regulatory Instruments to Address Telecoms Challenges – THISDAY Newspapers

Emma Okonji
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has reviewed three of its regulatory instruments, aimed at addressing the challenges of the ever evolving communications industry and to further strengthen the telecoms market structure.
The three regulatory instruments, which were reviewed, include the Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulations, SIM Replacement Guidelines, and Spectrum Trading Guidelines.
While the Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulations provides a regulatory framework for the registration of subscribers of communications services utilizing subscription mediums, the 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.
The third instrument, which is the Spectrum Trading Guidelines, 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.
Speaking at the public inquiry for the review of the regulatory instruments, which held in Abuja, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, said the public inquiry was a precursor to the commission’s current drive towards ensuring that frequency spectrum was readily available to licensees through a rapid and effective process. According to Danbatta, in view of the resolve of the federal government to tackle insurgency and insecurity through citizen identity management, it became 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. He said the revision of both instruments would ensure a more secure and robust process for the registration/activation and replacement of SIMs.
“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,” Danbatta said.
In his opening remarks, the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders’ Management at NCC, Adeleke Adewolu, said the review process would ensure that the regulatory instruments issued by the commission were in consonance with the best practices in the industry.
“Commission has decided to review three key and important regulatory instruments, and the objective is to engage stakeholders as part of the rule-making process set out in Section 70 of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003.
We believe that this is a vital ingredient in not just developing instruments, but also in gauging the implementation efficacy,” Adewolu said.
The review is expected to generate reactions and contributions from industry stakeholders that will form the final regulatory instruments that will be published.

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