Berkeley Legal | Applying For A Value Added Service Licence
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27 Oct Applying For A Value Added Service Licence

Applying For A Value Added Service Licence

The Telecommunication industry has grown over the past two decades, from the provision of the standard service of just making calls to a variety of services, including; payment of bills, advertisement, caller tuners, voting on your favourite entertainment shows, multimedia etc.

Value Added Services (VAS) in the telecommunication industry refers to non-core services, or services which are beyond standard voice calls.

The VAS Licence framework defines a VAS provider as any person or organisation that engages in the provision of value added mobile/fixed services, including premium rated service. In order to provide Value added service, the provide has to procure a licence from the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC).

Market Players and Scope of Licence

The VAS subsector of the Telecommunication Industry consists of four main market players; Network operators, Aggregators, Content and application service providers, Developers of content, applications and platforms. These market players work together to provide value added services.

The scope of the VAS licence as envisage under the License Framework for VAS include but are not limited to the following:

  • Commerce: Transaction fees for the redemption of coupons, point of sale purchases and micro payments etc.
  • Advertising: Drive purchases to target markets etc
  • Entertainment: Premium rate messages, subscription services for tv, radio, games etc
  • Marketing: Premium billed contest, group functions, incentive promotions etc.
  • Some other forms of mobile VAS that can be provided include; all services using or needing short codes, call centre services, prepaid calling card, special numbering services Text messages etc.

NCC categories its license into Individual licence (a type of authorization whose terms, conditions, obligations, scope and limitations are specific to the service being provided) and Class licence (a type of general authorization, whose terms and conditions are common to all licence holders).

Steps in applying for a VAS licence

  • Purchase an application form from NCC, fill the application form and produce three
  • Attach copies of the following relevant documents:
    • Certificate of Incorporation
    • Tax Clearance Certificate
    • Certified True Copy (CTC) of Articles & Memorandum of Association
    • CTC of form CO7
    • Feasibility report of proposed services applied for (where applicable)
    • 3 Passport photos of authorized representative
    • Passport photos of Directors of the Company.
  • Applications should be submitted in triplicates with all the necessary documents attached, all spiral bound.
  • A non-refundable administrative charge of 5% of the relevant licence fee would be paid on submission of the application.
  • The full licence fee (which is determined by the various services covered by the particular licence) is payable on approval of the application.

Depending on the particular service which the VAS provider is applying to provide, they might have to fulfil additional requirements. Some services which require additional requirements are:

  • Automated Vehicle Tracking Service (AVTS) applicant(s) must obtain a security clearance from the State Security Service (SSS). The personal history forms for the company and its director will be provided by the commission for completion by applicant.
  • VAS (Content Service Using Short Code) applicant(s) must also present:
    • Evidence of an Agreement or a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) entered between the company and the Mobile Network Operator(s)
    • Alternatively, the company should provide a copy of licence duly issued to it by the CBN

Tenure

The license is for a period of Five (5) years in the first instance, and can be renewed on equal terms upon fulfilment of the requirements for renewal.

Conclusion

As the telecommunication industry and the technologies on which it functions continues to develop, we are likely to see provision of more value added services through this medium.

Berkeley Legal is able to advise your business on VAS compliance issues and assist in procuring of the required licence.

The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you require specific legal advice on any of the matters covered in this article please contact info@berkeleylegal.com.ng