Editor’s Note: This report has been reviewed. Please check end of story for details.
President Goodluck Jonathan has given Nigeria’s Digital Dividend spectrum gained by telcos following switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting to Dr Mike Adenuga Jnr Mr. Jim Ovia, billionaire owners of Globacom Limited and Visafone Communications Limited respectively.
The Digital Dividend spectrum, which are some of the most coveted frequency spectrum band by telcos around the world will enable operators launch faster mobile broadband services became available after ITU, the UN specialized agency that coordinate the global ICT sector directed the broadcast industry to switch from analogue to digital by June this year.
Technology Times checks reveal that President Jonathan has directed that the 900MHz spectrum be issued Ovia, the owner of CDMA mobile telephony company, Visafone, while Adenuga, owner of Nigerian Second National Operator (SNO), Globacom will be given the 700MHz spectrum.
Barring any last minute change, Jim Ovia’s Visafone is expected to pay about N3 billion, estimated to be the reserve price for the 900MHz spectrum for the 10-year licence tenor to make him become the new owner of the much-sought-after resource following President Jonathan’s directive to spectrum decision makers in the country.
On the other hand, Adenuga’s Globacom is expected to be issued the 700MHz spectrum at a pro-rated price based on the same reserve price but for only a two-year non-renewable tenor that allows the telecoms company use the licence “for a pilot operation”, according to credible government sources conversant with the President’s decision on the matter.
Editor’s Note: The original report misstated that Mr Jim Ovia was issued the 800MHz spectrum. We have since found that his company, Cyberspace, was issued the 900MHz spectrum, which is also not a Digital Dividend spectrum. The 800MHz spectrum was issued Visafone, Mr Ovia’s mobile phone company, since inception. We apologise for the mix-up.