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GSMA tasks Nigeria on spectrum trading policies



West Africa’s unique subscribers now 176m
To fully unlock the potential of the mobile ecosystem in Nigeria, the Global System for Mobile Telecommunications Association (GSMA) wants the country to streamline licensing to promote innovation, contribute to USPF strategic management plan development and develop spectrum trading guidelines.

The GSMA believes that countries in the sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region, Nigeria inclusive, need to encourage network investment, demonstrate digital leadership, adjust regulation to digitised world and promote digital economies.

The body noted that spectrum trading will give room for more innovations in the digital ecosystem, which is capable of engendering economic growth.


According to GSMA at the Mobile 360 Series, West Africa, held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, the body, which represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide and uniting nearly 800 operators across the globe, noted that in this region, operators must have a broadband policy with clear goals, support infrastructure roll-out and apply investment-friendly spectrum policies.

On promoting digital economies, the international telecoms body, urged Nigeria to support data safety and security; digital literacy and life-long learning an encourage digitization of companies.

Already, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) had started work on spectrum trading, with a guideline on how to enforce it already released.

Though, still very silent on when it will ensure the police comes to effect in the country, NCC believed that spectrum trading will allow for more roll out telephony services in unserved and underserved areas of the country.

Meanwhile, GSMA has revealed that mobile adoption has grown rapidly in recent years, helped by the expansion of mobile networks to underserved communities and the increasing affordability of services and devices costs.

The body revealed that by 2017, there were 176 million unique subscribers across the Ests Africa sub-region, comprising 15 member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

By this, it noted that the overall subscriber penetration reached 47 per cent in 2017, up from 28 per cent at the start of this decade.

“Despite the remarkable subscriber growth in the sub-region in recent years, and indeed across SSA, more than half of the region’s population do not yet subscribe to a mobile service,” it noted.

Indeed, the NCC had revealed in 2016 that about 40 million Nigerians, which reside in some 205 communities still, do not have access to basic telephony service.

However, GSMA observed that subscriber growth will be driven by a demographic shift in the coming years, as many young adults take out a mobile siubscription.

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