21 Internet service providers’ expected to renew licences in 2016

Umar Garba Danbatta, NCC Boss
Umar Garba Danbatta, NCC Boss
ABOUT 21 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) operating in Nigeria are expected to renew their operating licenses in 2016 following their expiration of their permit.
According to information gathered from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) website the service providers were issued the operating licenses in 2011. According to NCC, the ISPs were licensed for a period of five years.
Some of the licensees include: Gilat Satcom Nig Limited; Quautet (W.A.) Limited; Kalex Global Solutions Limited; City Central Communications Limited; Global TT Data Networks Limited; Single Eagle Technologies Limited; Hajara Ihsan Nigeria Limited; Network Information Technology Nig, Limited; Lexican Investment Limited.
Others are MainOne Cable Co. Limited; Network Auditing and Telecom Services; EF-GEE Telecorp Limited; Aida Synergy Nig Limited, Trussnet Limited, Mfreke Ventures Limited; Conecom Limited, IT Port Limited; VDT Communications Limited; Juniper Solutions Limited; Layer3 Limited; Artifice Colony Nigeria Limited.
Those listed are licensees whose licenses expired between June 2015 and would expire by August 2016.
Further disclosure revealed that apart from the list, 18 other ISPs would renew their licenses by 2017 and in 2018 and 2019; about 21 and 20 others are to renew theirs respectively.
So far, the NCC has issued operating licenses to about 200 ISPs to provide Internet services in the country. The licensees, operating in different parts of the country, had helped in taking Internet services to individuals, businesses and governments.
Indeed, while Nigeria has crossed the 100 per cent teledensity mark middle 2015, as at September 2015, the current subscribers’ statistics showed that there 150 million telephone (voice) users and 97 million Internet subscribers, mostly operating on the narrow band. The broadband penetration in the country crawls at 10 per cent, despite bandwidth glut in the country.
While the Federal Government, through the ministry of Communications, has set 30 per cent broadband penetration target for 2018, it informed that currently, the country accounts for 29 per cent of all Internet usage on the continent and the figure is expected to rise.
Other strategies been explored by government to ensure pervasive and ubiquitous broadband penetration in the country included the licensing of Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos). They are going to be six representing the geo-political zones of the country and Lagos.
Already, two companies secured licenses early last year to service Lagos and the North Central zones. The firms are MainOne Cable and IHS Communications. The remaining five InfraCos are expected to be licensed before the end of this year in addition to auctioning some spectrum licenses, especially the 2.6GHz spectrum band, postponed severally last year.

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