The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has approved two additional infrastructure company (InfraCo) licenses to Zinox Technology Limited and Brinks Integrated Solutions Limited for the roll out broadband infrastructure for the South-East and North East Nigeria.
The additional licenses bring the total number of InfraCo licensees to four, as the commission had, since 2015, issued licenses to MainOne Cable company for Lagos and IHS for the North Central geo-political zone including Abuja.
The Infraco licences are based on the NCC’s Open Access Model (OAM) in line with the National Broadband Plan (NBP) of (2013 – 2018).
Although the South-West, South- South and North-West regions of the country remain unlicensed, industry watchers say that it is essential for the four licensed zones to begin infrastructure roll out immediately in order to move the nation one step closer to achieving the proposed 30 percent broadband penetration rate by the end of 2018.
“The process of license issuance is taking too long. The NCC announced the bidding process for InfraCo licenses which were meant to give birth to seven regionally- based infrastructure companies since December 2014 and first two companies announced as winners were not even issued licenses until about a year later. No significant roll out of broadband infrastructure has even been seen in the first two zones. They really need to speed up this process,” Subomi Sodipo, CEO CFmobile told BusinessDay.
Tony Ojobo, Director, public affairs, NCC said in a statement sent to BusinessDay that the Commission is working towards helping Nigeria from its current 22 percent mobile broadband penetration, to achieve the set target of 30 percent broadband penetration.
“As part of the initiative to achieve this, NCC, as the driver of this process, has so far licenced a number of companies such as Bitflux Communications Limited (Bitflux) for 2.3 Ghz and MTN Nigeria for the 2.6 Ghz. We are also working on other licenses to be issued to stimulate broadband penetration,” Ojobo said.
Zinox Technology, which has been given the InfraCo license for South-East Nigeria is an integrated ICT solutions company and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). Founded by Leo-Stan Ekeh, Zinox Technology, part of Zinox Group are the manufacturers of Nigeria’s First Internationally Certified Branded Computers.
Brinks Integrated Solutions Limited, InfraCo licensee for North-East Nigeria is an Information Technology (IT) consulting company, headquartered in Abuja Nigeria. The company is being run by Murtala Adhama, managing director, Matthew Bolofinde, CTO/Head of Technology and Alex Apata as head of operations.