The drama surrounding MTN and its purchase of Visafone continues with new twists and turns. The latest of these is that the Professor Dambatta, Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) saying that it did not approve transfer of Visafone licence to MTN, but rather what it approved was a transfer of 100% Visafone shares to MTN.
The telecommunications regulator said that in the midst of the controversy surrounding having a dominant network which would control the others, it would not further fuel such problems by transferring Visafone’s license to MTN.
Rather, what Visafone asked the NCC to approve was a transfer of shares from the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) operator to the Global System of Mobile Communication (GSM) firm.
The NCC said it then approved the N47.5 billion transfer by virtue of Section 38 of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003 and this has resulted in about 568,000 customers of the CDMA operator being upgraded to the GSM network, according to Vanguard Newspapers.
The telecommunications sector has been grappling with controversies about having a dominant network that could assert minor monopoly on the market, with the legislative chamber even wading in. The revelation of the Visafone purchase had further sparked fears that MTN was gradually buying out other major players and could exert control over majority of the spectrum and the role of NCC in the matter.