Spectrum is beyond the lifeblood of the telecommunications industry, it is the lifeblood of the economy. As a scarce resource the way it is allocated determines whether it will lead to economic growth or not.
According to Oladipo Raji, President/CEO, InfraFocus Technologies, “If you have 10 spectrum slots and concentrate it on one operator it will hinder growth of the economy as against spreading it among operators that will use it to deliver services. “In deploying infrastructure for service delivery means economic growth in different sectors of the economy that requires telecommunications services to function optimally.
“For spectrum to be utilized optimally, Government needs to create the market, if there are no market opportunities, anti-competition practice will creep in. They have to create level playing environment with the right laws as well support small operators to survive in the space.
Lanre Ajayi, immediate past president, Association Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), said telecommunication is catalyst for economic growth as it is key driver for better performance of other sectors such as banking, education and health.
“However, we need to pay attention to how spectrum is managed in this country. For me, we are not managing our spectrum well as there are idol spectrums in the purview of NCC and NBC with no agreement on how to allocate it which has left operators handicap, some operators bought spectrum and locked it up because they don’t have money to deploy infrastructure for service delivery.
“It was against this backdrop that I advocated for spectrum secondary market, although it has been established, but until now no further move has been made to ensure its implementation and the situation is still the same.
“More so, there are other spectrums that have not been allocated which are required by operators because it is overpriced by Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
He urged federal government through its agencies in charge of spectrum management to make such spectrums available at reasonable and responsible price in view of the economic benefits to be derived from its use.
Engr. Samuel Adeleke, managing director, Steineng Ltd, urged regulatory authorities to take a look at the success rate of their auctioned spectrum licenses.
“Any regulation that will make businesses to grow or create right environment for success of businesses and not making money for government should be the focus of NCC and other government agencies,” he noted.
Mohamed Madkour, VP of wireless and cloud core marketing and solutions at Huawei, said : “The more spectrum is licensed, that’s how things will be deployed and how mobility will be enabled. Connectivity for enterprises is mostly going to be wireless. So, mobility is the key for everything.”
Madkour emphasised the importance of understanding which spectrum bands are licensed, how they are licensed and to whom. “The fragmentation, technology neutrality, service neutrality and cleaning of the spectrum are the things government needs to look at when licensing the spectrum.”