This new NCC licence could make data cheaper in Nigeria

Nigeria’s phone companies have been ruled by four big ones for a long time. Airtel and MTN came first in 2001, then Glo and 9mobile later. But now, new players called MVNOs are joining the game. These MVNOs don’t own their own networks but rent from the big companies. A guy named Ernest Akinlola thinks MVNOs will be a big deal in Nigeria soon. He knows a lot about them from working with them in the UK and the US.

MVNOs work like regular phone companies but without the expensive infrastructure. They can focus on specific groups, like people in rural areas. In Nigeria, they could offer cheaper services. In the UK, they made international calls cheaper. Akinlola says they could make Nigeria’s phone services cheaper too.

Ernest Akinola, Managing Director, Bboxx and MVNO expert

But there are challenges. Nigeria has a lot of MVNOs, and the big phone companies have to support them all. Akinlola suggests different levels of MVNOs could help. Some might struggle because they’re new to the business. Also, Nigeria’s telecom regulators have to learn to deal with so many new companies.

Despite the challenges, MVNOs could improve phone services in Nigeria. They might focus on rural areas and improve data quality. Akinlola thinks they could even create jobs and boost the economy. But everyone involved needs to think carefully to make sure MVNOs help Nigeria.

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