Edition 592 of CyberSchuulNews.com carries an opinion piece on news that Bitflux Communications Ltd and Globacom Ltd are the two firms which have been pre-qualified by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) as approved bidders for the impending 2.3 GHz Spectrum Auction.
The 2.3 GHz spectrum licence is for the provision of wholesale broadband service in Nigeria. To quote the NCC, it is for “delivery of broadband wireless access service at the wholesale level, to provide ISP’s and other Retail Telecoms Service Providers with the requisite bandwidth to service their subscribers. This wholesale broadband provider will have the required spectrum to expand wireless broadband access across the country to ISP’s and other Retail Telecom Service Providers for the provision of retail high speed internet access services.”
The interesting thing is that Globacom is Second National Operator, at least on paper. CyberSchuulNews raises tough issues about that status and Globacom’s involvement in this auction process.
Excerpts from the CyberSchuulNews.com article:
The first observation is whether any process that makes it possible for the 2nd National Operator with its bouquet of licenses collects the only license that is on the table can ever strengthen competition. We are talking of a market where the First National Operator, NITEL, is technically, and in reality, non-existent.
For emphasis, Globacom has held an SNO license for eight years without providing fixed services which the nation yearns for to count as a truly developing market. Surprisingly, the Regulator has not considered it necessary to push it in this direction beyond occasional rhetoric that fixed wired services would improve. You wonder if things get improved by mere wishes and ordinary talks.
The first operator, NITEL is effectively dead, leaving Globacom as the Sole National Operator. However, in eight years, Globacom is yet to roll out any fixed services. Why has the NCC turned a blind eye to this? What exactly is Globacom doing with that SNO license? Why should they get the opportunity to pick up this 2.3 GHz spectrum licence, considering that track record? Are we in a process to replace the monopoly that NITEL once had with another?