The executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, has said that three of the commission’s regulatory instruments are set to offer enabling provisions that will help the country in tackling security and insurgency; as well as enhance spectrum availability to facilitate the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) technology.
The three instruments, which were subjected to a public inquiry physically and virtually, include the Spectrum Trading Guidelines (STG), Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulations and the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Replacement Guidelines.
Speaking recently at a semi-virtual public inquiry, which on-site operation was conducted at the commission’s head office in Abuja, Danbatta said the three regulatory instruments have been developed to address the challenges of the ever evolving communications industry and to further strengthen the market structure.
He said the public inquiry was held in line with the commission’s consultative approach in all its regulatory interventions as the regulatory instruments being reviewed 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.
The first instrument, the Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulations, provides a regulatory framework for the registration of subscribers of communications services utilising 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.
Besides the instruments, two Business Rules that relate to SIM Registration and SIM Replacement, introduced by the Commission to further ensure that the process for SIM activation and Replacement is seamless and align with the national identity management policy.
While underscoring that the availability of spectrum frequency is a necessary element in the deployment of the 5G technology in Nigeria, Danbatta said the recent approval of the 5G Deployment Plan by the federal government makes the STG review process expedient.
Speaking earlier, NCC’s executive commissioner, stakeholder management, Adeleke Adewolu, said the draft of all the regulatory instruments had been published on the commission’s website and comments from all stakeholders have been received and reviewed.
However, he noted that the public inquiry was meant to receive more comments from stakeholders, which would ensure that the final regulatory instruments will enhance development of the industry.