Telcom firms state condition for improved services

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Ozioma Ubabukoh

Tier-II telecommunications operators in the country have asked the Nigerian Communications Commission to reinstate the price floor for data segment to drive investment in better quality of service by telcos.

Tier-II players are defined by the NCC as having less than 7.5 per cent of the market share or have been in operation for less than three years.

The price floor in 2014 was N3.11k/MB but was removed in 2015. The price floor that was supposed to commence on December 1, 2016 was N0.90k/MB.

However, the Chief Executive Officer, ntel, Kamar Abass, called for the return and increase of the full data price floor to ensure competition.

“Increasing the data price floor ensures that operators can provide better services. It also ensures that they can get adequate returns on investments,” he said.

The Chief Executive Officer, Spectranet, David Venn, was no less direct, saying, “We need sanity and a data floor because there is a lot of anti-competitive behaviour in the market.”

Venn added that the quality of service had fallen in the past six months because of Nigeria’s huge data hunger, “a state of affairs that has seen Tier-II telecoms companies offering unlimited packages in a bid to stay ahead of competition.”

The Director, Strategy and Performance Management, Airtel, a tier-I player, Tenu Awoonor, said reinstating the data price floor would not necessarily make broadband more expensive, “rather it will help with penetration.”

Awoonor added, “We need better pricing to help ensure that operators stay afloat.”

The President, Association of Licenced Telecoms Operators, Gbenga Adebayo, shared Abass’ views.

He said, “We need to revisit the issue of data price floor especially now that we are talking about broadband for all because there is a minimum price a telco must charge in order to stay in business. Where are the old players and Internet Service Providers?”

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