Neglect of CDMA a mistake, says NCC CEO

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

The Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) has lamented the comatose state of the code division multiple access (CDMA) sector of the telecoms industry, describing the situation as a mistake.

Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof Garuba Dambatta who spoke in Lagos while unveiling his eight point agenda for the industry said in other parts of the world, the two technologies are usually allowed to operate side by side.

He said the neglect of fixed wireless in the country has been at a cost, adding that part of the reasons for the congestion often experienced by subscribers is due to the absence of alternative to the GSM which CDMA would have provided.

Prof Dmabatta said it was in the realisation that CDMA should not be allowed to go into extinction that the NCC recently granted approval to the acquisition of Visafone by MTN. he urged other carriers willing to invest in the technology to come forward, promising that the regulator will be ready to assist.

Speaking on the quality of service problem confronting the sector, he said the commission is working tirelessly to ensure that subscribers get the best from their operators, adding however that there were technical and other extraneous factors militating against service quality.

On broadband services, he said ubiquitous broadband provision is dear to his heart, arguing that while two Infracos have already been licenced to provide services in Lagos and the Northeast, the remaining five other geopolitical zones will be captured in the next licensing round.

He said though not much is going on in the deployment of services in the two licensed zones, the Commission has invited MainOne which won the Lagos licence for discussion while HIS which won the Northeast licence will be engaged in meaningful discussion to drive the implementation of the National Broadband Plan of the Federal Government, grow sector contribution to national gross domestic product (GDP), create jobs and enhance good life for the citizens of the country.

Speaking on the 700 Mhz spectrum sold to MTN by National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), he said the matter has been taken to the National Frequency Management Council (NFMC) for discussion, adding that the matter is yet to be concluded.

He said the 2.6 Ghz spectrum auctionin, which had been postponed several times, would take place soon to assist in the realization of the broadband plans of the government.

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