The following are Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Licensing and obtaining a Licence from the Nigerian Communications Commission.
What is a Licence?
A licence is legal document that grants you the authority to engage in a telecom business or to provide a telecom Service.
What are the categories of licences you offer?
There are two categories of licenses namely: class and individual license.
- An Individual Licence is a type of authorization in which the terms, conditions and obligations, scope and limitations are specific to the service being provided. Process of licensing can take the form of Auction, "First Come First Served", "Beauty Contest" or a standard administrative procedure, etc.
- A Class Licence is a type of general authorization in which the terms and conditions/obligations are common to all license holders. Requires only registration with the Commission for applicants to commence operation.
What is a Unified Licence?
A Unified Licence is an authorization that allows the licensee to provide a basket of services under a single license. For example, under a Unified License, the licensee may be allowed to provide Mobile and Fixed telephony services, National Long Distance, Gateway services under one license, it can be Regional or National Services.
What are the requirements for obtaining a Class licence?
The requirement for Class licence are listed below:
- Obtain a bank draft of N1, 000 payable to Nigerian Communications Commission for the form. (The Commission’s name must be written in full on the draft)
- Fill the application form and produce two more copies.
- Attach the following documents :
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Tax Clearance Certificate but if it is a new Company, atax waiver letter should be obtained and attached to the submission.
- Certified true copy of Articles and Memorandum of Association
- 2 passport photographs of authorized representative
- Certificate of qualified technical staff. (if applicable)
- Completed application should be submitted in duplicate with all necessary documents attached and bound
- License fee on submission of application is N10,000
- All payments are in bank draft
What are the requirements for obtaining a Individual Licence?
The requirements for an Individual Licence are:
- Obtain a bank draft of N1, 000 payable to Nigerian Communication Commission for the form. (The Commission’s name must be written in full on the draft)
- Fill the application form and produce three copies.
- Attach the following documents :
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Current Tax Clearance Certificate but if it is a new ompany, a letter indicating tax waiver should be obtained and attached to the submission.
- Certified true copy of Articles and Memorandum of Association.
- 3 passport photographs of authorized representative.
- Feasibility report of proposed service applied for.
- Completed application should be submitted in triplicate with all necessary documents attached and bound.
- On submission, a non refundable administrative charge which is 5% of the relevant licence fee would be paid.
- License offer is granted if all conditions/requirements are met. All payments are in bank draft
How much does it cost to obtain a licence?
The license fees payable varies according to the services. Please contact the Commission or check Licencing link on the Commission’s website for the Licence fee structure.
How long does it take to obtain a licence?
According to the provision of the Nigerian Communication Act 2003, an applicant must receive a response with respect to licence application within 90 days of the submission of the application. However for Class Licence, once your application is complete, you get your offer letter immediately. For individual licence, depending on the service and completeness of required information, the conclusion of the process takes between 4‐8 weeks.
Which services have been deregulated?
These services include;
- Sales and Installation of Terminal equipment (Mobile Cellular Phones, Satellite Communication and Switching equipments etc).
- Public Payphone Services.
- Internet Services.
- Prepaid Calling Card Services.
- PNL LEO (Local Exchange Operator)
- Paging Services.
- Trunk and 2-Way Radio Network Services.
- Fixed Telephony Services, employing cable and Radio.
- Satellite Network Services (e.g. Domestic VSAT networks).
- Repairs & Maintenance of telecommunications facilities.
- Cabling services.
- Tele-Centers/Cyber Cafes.
- Non-commercial/User Operated Radio Networks.
What are the criteria used to ascertain the operational status of licensees?
The following are the measurement criteria used to gauge the operational status of licensees after the award of the license has been awarded;
- Licence Fees paid.
- Start up Organization/Staff in place.
- Office set up.
- Logistics in place.
- Finances Organized.
- Site Survey and Site Selection.
- Equipment Selection.
- Frequency Allocation.
- Type Approval of Equipment.
- Number Allocation.
- Commitment on Equipment Procurement.
- Site and Infrastructure preparation.
- Procurement of Equipment.
- Installation of Equipment.
- System turn-on and Commencement of service.
How can we obtain the list of existing licensees in a particular category?
Please go to the Licensing section of this website (ncc.gov.ng) and and click on the List of Licensees link.
What is Value Added License?
A Value Added telecommunication services are non‐core Network telecommunication services which are beyond standard voice calls. These services include Internet, Directory service, paging service, voice mail and Prepaid Calling Card service, Call Center services, content services, Vehicle Tracking. The service provider does not own a network to provide the service and may ride on existing networks.
What Are The Additional Requirements for Value Added Services?
Additional requirements for VAS (Content Services Using Short Code) are as follows: 1. Evidence of an Agreement or a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) entered between the Company and the Mobile Network Operator(s) for the provision of VAS – Content Services. 2. Alternatively, the Company should provide a copy of License duly issued to it by the CBN for Mobile Services or Lottery Commission for lottery services.
What is NCC doing about the poor quality of service these days?
NCC has issued directions to operators to suspend all promotional activities that result to increased up‐take of service which may lead to congestion of the networks and degradation of the network performance. The Commission has also set up a traffic monitoring Committee on QoS, to monitor Qos thresholds and have directed that any network that does not meet the thresholds should pay compensation to subscribers. The Commission has since published the QoS thresholds, acquired monitoring equipment and has embarked on continuous monitoring of network performance based on the threshold.
How do I file a complaint against a service provider?
Some people are operating telecom services without licence. What is NCC doing to ensure that licensed operators recoup their investments?
The Commission has a surveillance programmed aimed at identifying illegal operators and appropriate sanctions/Enforcement action against any defaulter who fails to regularize operations. The Commission would be pleased to receive information from the public on suspected illegal operators.
The cost of GSM tariff is still high, what is NCC doing to bring it down?
The Commission has continued to license more operators. The Commission has twice reduced the interconnect rate which has a direct effect on retail tariff. Subscribers should also ensure that they “shop right” by choosing networks with comparative lower tariffs. It is also expected that competition will continue to bring down tariff as the case in most liberalized markets.
Is there a table of existing/available frequencies for wireless services and how can we obtain the schedule?
There is a table/chart of available frequencies which is regularly updated. Please visit Spectrum Issues section of this site.
Are the 800MHz and 1900MHz frequencies available?
Refer to the frequency chart as mentioned above.
Can we know the available commercial frequencies?
Please also refer to the chart.
What is the process for obtaining frequency spectrum?
Obtain a form or download a copy from the Application Forms page in the Spectrum Issues section of the website. Complete the form as instructed and submit to the Commission.
Is there any guideline on VoIP Services?
The Commission does not license or regulate technology. The Commission has published a guideline on VoIP in Nigeria. Please see the Legal and Regulatory section of the NCC website.
What is NCC policy on WIMAX Services?
NCC does not regulate technology; however an interested operator must have an operating license and the required frequency to be able to provide the service.
Is there a list of NCC type approved equipment/handset? If yes, where can we find or obtain the list?
Visit the Type Approval page under the Technical Standards section of the NCC website.
Do I have to type approve equipment that have been type approved by ITU recognized jurisdictions?
All telecom equipment coming into Nigeria must be type approved by NCC before importation, sale or connection to Nigerian telecoms network as contained in section 132, 133 of the NCA 2003.
What is NCC doing about Cyber crime?
Prevention of crime is within the purview of the law enforcement agencies; however, NCC has continued to collaborate with the relevant agencies in the fight against cyber crime.
Can we have the addresses to your Zonal Offices?
Lagos Zonal Office
- 9A, Bankole Oki Road
Adjacent Ikoyi Club
Off 1st Avenue,
Ikoyi, Lagos State.
Port Harcourt Zonal Office
- 23A Igbodo Street, Old GRA
Behind 1st Bank
Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Kano Zonal Office
- No. 1, Sokoto Road,
By Audu Bako Secretariat,
Kano, Kano State.
TEL: 064‐947822, 064‐319999
Enugu Zonal Office
- No.2 Ugwuoba Street,
Off Ezillo Avenue,
Enugu, Enugu State.
TEL: 042‐251538, 042‐250435
Ibadan Zonal Office
- No. 19 Oshuntokun Avenue
Ibadan, Oyo State.
TEL: 02‐8735290, 02‐873629
Can we visit any of your Zonal Offices to process and obtain a license?
The Zonal Offices are set up to assist in processing licenses for applicants’ resident in their locations or contiguous states.
Can I process my application directly with the Commission without a third party?
It is advisable that you can process your licence directly with the Commission. This will not cost you anything more than the required licence fee. NCC has not appointed any agent for the purpose of obtaining a licence.
Can a foreign Company apply for a licence?
All Companies applying for a license must be registered in Nigeria by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
Does NCC grant Licence for establishment of an FM Radio Station?
The Nigerian Broadcasting Commission is the Government Agency responsible for the granting of license for the establishment of an FM Radio Station.