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2.9 Are there specific laws, regulations or administrative provisions on access to and/or securing or enforcement of rights to public and private lands for the construction of telecommunications infrastructure? 20. See condition 11 of the low-cost service licence and condition 13 of the single access service licence. Section 48(b) of the Licence Regulations also prohibits a licensee from entering into an agreement or merging all or part of its telecommunications activities with a carrier without obtaining the approval of the NCC. The conditions of licence of most telecommunications licences require the licensee to obtain prior written approval from the NCC before entering into a joint venture with another company.20 It would be a step in the wrong direction for a licensed undertaking to enter into some type of commercial partnership with another undertaking to provide communications services under its licence. without obtaining appropriate approval from the NCC. In the recent past, the NCC has taken enforcement action against defaulting licensees who entered into unauthorized joint ventures. For example, the NCC issued a warning and injunction to Arctic Spatials Limited and Vodacom Business Africa Nigeria Limited for violating the terms of the Automated Vehicle Tracking Services (AVTS) licence on this point.21 In Nigeria, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, is the sole telecommunications regulator. However, other authorities have the power to regulate certain specific aspects of the construction of telecommunications network infrastructure on their sites, which are mentioned in this speech. 6.1 How the courts resolved objections (e.g. “pure line” or “joint operator”), which protect telecommunications operators and/or internet service providers from liability for content transmitted over their networks? Another body that plays an important role in the Nigerian telecommunications sector is the National Environmental Standards Regulation and Enforcement Agency, hereinafter referred to as “NESREA”, a semi-public body of the Federal Ministry of Environment, Housing and Urban Development. Other relevant telecommunications laws include the Wireless Telegraphy Act (“WTA”), which establishes the regulatory framework for the use of wireless telegraphy, the NBC Act, which regulates broadcasting services in Nigeria, and the Cybercrime (Prohibition and Prevention) Act 2015, which regulates cybercrime and security in Nigeria. The main players in the telecommunications market are telecommunications operators (“GSM”), followed by Internet Service Providers (“ISPs”) and other market players such as infrastructure providers, etc.

GSM operators currently dominate the market – MTN has the highest number of subscriptions, closely followed by Globacom (“GLO”), AIRTEL and Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Ltd. (“EMTS”) (operating as 9mobile). The telecommunications sector has experienced strong growth in recent years. While there were 3.3 billion active mobile broadband connections worldwide in 2015, there were about 7.7 billion in 2020. This increase is due at least in part to the deployment of 4G LTE. [8] 6.3 Are there net neutrality requirements? Are telecom operators and/or ISPs able to calculate and/or block different types of traffic on their networks differently? Nigeria`s telecommunications industry has continued to grow phenomenally following market liberalization reforms that began in the 1990s. In 2017, the telecommunications industry was one of the fastest growing economic sectors in Nigeria and the fourth largest contributor to the country`s gross domestic product. However, the telecommunications industry remains a highly technical and, of course, dynamic industry that has not been a common area for legal research in developing countries like Nigeria. This book fills this knowledge gap by providing an analysis of the legal and policy tools that regulate the industry. It consists of eleven chapters dealing with the historical evolution of telecommunications and its regulation; the development of the Nigerian telecommunications industry from 1886 to 2017; the legal basis for regulating the industry; licensing and obligations of service providers; regulation of network infrastructure; Consumer protection; regulating competition, interconnection, universal access and environmental protection; and industry dispute resolution. This book will be useful for policymakers, legislators, regulators, lawyers, law students, investors, operators and consumers, as well as anyone interested in the Nigerian telecommunications industry. The general requirement to operate in the telecommunications sector in Nigeria is to obtain a licence from the NCC in accordance with the NCA or any other applicable regulations of the NCC.

The authorisation procedure is a request for documentation accompanied by the necessary documents. The guidelines state that anyone installing a telecommunications mast or tower more than 20 metres high must obtain NCC approval prior to installation. It is also illegal for a person to participate in the installation of telecommunications poles and masts without obtaining a valid licence from the NCC. The Nigerian telecommunications sector has been liberalized, so there are no restrictions on foreign investment in this sector. In addition, foreign companies incorporated in Nigeria may provide telecommunications equipment without restrictions, and any person wishing to provide a telecommunications service in Nigeria must do so through a company and hold a licence issued by the NCC. A foreign investor can hold all the equity of the local licensee, especially since Nigerian company law now allows companies to be owned by a single shareholder. In addition to obtaining telecommunications licenses for each service to be provided, a licensee must also obtain the foreign investment permits from foreign shareholders necessary to do business in Nigeria. Fixed, mobile and satellite services are regulated and licensed by the NCA, and a licence from the NCC must be obtained to operate either of these services. Since these services are operator-specific, they fall into the category of individual licences. In Nigeria, mobile services are differentiated according to whether the operator is authorized by a DML, a fixed wireless access license (FWAL) or a single access service license. A DML authorises an operator to use appropriate equipment in a given part of the electromagnetic spectrum and allows it to operate a network for the provision of public telecommunications services.

In 2001, the NCC licensed four frequency packages in the 900 megahertz (MHz) and 1,800 MHz bands to Mobile Telecommunications Limited (now Ntel), Econet Wireless Nigeria Limited (now Airtel) and MTN Nigeria Communications Limited for the provision of digital mobile services. Later, Etisalat and Globacom were added. An FWAL allows an operator to use appropriate equipment in a specified part of the electromagnetic spectrum for a period of five years (with a further extension of five years) and allows it to operate a network for the provision of public telecommunications services. FWAL are granted on a regional basis to reflect Nigeria`s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, with operators seeking national coverage requiring licenses in each of the licensing regions. In 2002, upon approval of FWAL services, the NCC also offered 42 MHz paired in the 3.5 gigahertz band and a total of 28 MHz in the 3.5 GHz band in the 37 licensed areas of Nigeria to 22 new licensees. To this end, the NCC Act provided for the establishment of a commission, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, pursuant to section 3(1) of the NCC Act. The NCC`s powers are set out in section 3 of the NCC Act. Section 70 of the NCC Act empowers the NCC to publish regulations on matters such as written approvals, permits, assignments and licences granted or granted under the NCC Act, as well as other specified functions. As a result, through an inclusive process, the NCC has developed robust regulations, policies or subsidiary legislation for the telecommunications sector. One of these various regulations is the Guidelines on Technical Specifications for the Installation of Masts and Towers, 2009 (hereafter referred to as the “2009 Guidelines”) which clearly specify the guidelines to be followed before constructing a tower or mast.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, telecommunications have been used to track the spread of COVID-19 and have been used by remote workers to do business during COVID-19 lockdowns. [9] Often, the nature of telecommunications services often requires licensed carriers to work with other carriers to effectively achieve their business objectives. However, it is essential that licensees exercise due diligence with respect to their potential partners to determine whether they have obtained the necessary licences and approvals to provide the required communications services. It is important that legal due diligence be conducted before entering into such partnerships, not halfway through the partnership.3 The secret to the proper functioning of any business lies in its ability to comply with regulatory guidelines. Strict regulatory sanctions have led to the liquidation and collapse of many profitable businesses around the world. The telecommunications sector in Nigeria is highly regulated, mainly due to its strategic importance to the country and its huge potential. As mentioned earlier, there are several requirements and conditions that an approved company must meet in order not to conflict with regulations.