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Nigeria: NCC Set To Issue VAS Aggregator License

Following the development of the Value Added Service (VAS) Aggregator License Framework by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the telecoms regulator for Africa’s fastest growing telecoms market, all is now set for the issuance the license.

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The Commission in a guideline stating the procedure for applying for the license, the Public Affairs Director of the NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), Value Added Service (VAS) Content (using Short Code) and VAS (Special Numbering Service) Licensees are NOT eligible to apply for the VAS Aggregator license.

He said that content developers are to register with the Commission to enable integration into the Value Added Service (VAS) value chain made up of Content Developer, Content Service Provider, VAS Aggregator and Mobile Network Operator.

According to him, interested applicant can download the pdf Individual License Application Form (171 KB) from the Commission website www.ncc.gov.ng, fill and return in triplicate noting that “upon submission you are required to pay ₦1,000.00 for the form and 5% of the licence fee of ₦10,000,000.00 being ₦500,000.00 as non-refundable administrative charges.”

The framework for the control and regulation of the VAS industry in Nigeria is developed in pursuant of the Nigerian Communications Act,
2003 which empowers the Commission to make subsidiary laws as it deems fit for the purpose of achieving the objectives of the Act.

The stated that the framework is not totally modelled after any country’s regulatory style or practice, nor does it seek to re-invent the wheel saying that it was synthesized and adapted to the prevailing economic, social and regulatory conditions in Nigeria and recognized the international Best Practices in its formulation.

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TechnologyMirror gathered that network operators will provide final link to the subscriber for the purpose of delivering value added service to the end user while the operators will not be allowed to host or distribute VAS to its subscribers directly.

Application details obtained from the NCC revealed that an aggregator will primarily provide a concentration point to limit the number of devices that will be directly connected to the operators.
The Commission said that it will eliminate the need for a Content Service Provider to maintain multiple physical connections to each network operator saying, that “it will either not be allowed to host, or distribute contents and applications, nor have access to the information passing through it or perform any data level processing.”

The document sighted by our correspondent showed that “content and applications service providers (present VAS licensees) are the only players that will be allowed to pool, host and distribute content and applications using their own in-house software and hardware platforms. They will have direct logical links to operators’ network. They will not be physically linked directly to the operators, but will have to go through aggregators.”

It learnt that developers are unlicensed, freelance creators of content and applications or those who have franchise on such value added services.

“They are however not licensed to distribute such services. They also do not need a license from the Commission to market their products, other than simple registration”, the regulator said.- TECHNOLOGY MIRROR

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