February 29 is deadline for satellite operators to regularise operations, says NCC

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By Olusegun Oruame

Nigerian telecom regulator, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has given February 29, 2019 as deadline for space segment providers with footprints in Nigeria and earth station operators to regularise their operations  in accordance with new Commercial Satellite Communications Guidelines which came into effect on November 21, 2018.

Operators who fail to comply risk sanctions including heavy fines.

The guidelines do not apply to military and non-commercial government satellites, radio navigation satellites, amateur satellites, earth observation and space research satellites, and receive-only earth stations.

The regulator states in the published statement on its website: https://www.ncc.gov.ng/docman-main/legal-regulatory/guidelines/819-guidelines-on-commercial-satellite-communications-2018/file

However, the scope covers:

(a) All Commercial Satellite Services, i.e. those that provide services to third parties

or own satellite space segments or earth station for self-provision support of

their businesses.

(b) Operators of Space Segments and Earth Stations, Satellite Gateway service providers, GMPCS providers and Sales and Installation of Satellite Terminal Equipment.

(c) GSO and non-GSO satellites including satellites in LEO, MEO, HEO, HAPS, and other similar orbits that may be developed in future.

The statement reads in part:

The Nigerian Communications Commission, pursuant to its powers under Section 70 (2) of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 has developed Commercial Satellite Communications Guidelines (The Guidelines) for the telecommunications market in Nigeria.

The Guidelines which came into effect on November 21, 2018 regulates all Commercial Satellite Services in all Orbits in Nigeria.

By this notice, all commercial satellite Space Segment providers with footprints in Nigeria and Earth Station Operators are required to regularise their operations with the Commission as specified in the Guidelines on or before February 29, 2019.

Please note, it is a criminal offence to provide communications services without a requisite licence, authorization or exemption from the Commission.

To access the guidelines, Stakeholders are invited to visit


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