Chairman of Visafone Communications, Jim Ovia, has returned the “digital dividend” frequency spectrum secretly issued to him by former President Goodluck Jonathan, Technology Times has reported.
The ICT newspaper had recently reported Jonathan’s controversial “gifting” of the lucrative spectrum to Mike Adenuga’s Globacom and Ovia’s Cyberspace.
According to Technology Times, Ovia has written to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the telecoms regulatory body, offering to return the spectrum. His request was promptly granted and his N3 billion payment was refunded. The frequency would have a higher price in an open bidding.
“Digital dividend” is a coveted platform by telecoms companies across the world as it enables them to launch a faster mobile broadband service. According to the reports, the new spectrum is available after the migration of broadcasting from analogue to digital, thereby freeing part of the electromagnetic spectrum previously used for broadcasting.
The Nigerian broadcasting framework is billed to transition from analogue to digital this year.
Digital TV typically needs a lower spectrum than analogue.