The move by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to introduce a new cost based pricing for broadband and data services in the telecoms sector, has continued to get commendations from industry stakeholders, who are of the view that the new cost will stabilise broadband pricing and also address a whole lot of industry issues.
The Managing Director and CEO of Estream Networks Limited, Mr. Muyiwa Ogungboye, this week, joined other industry stakeholders to support NCC for the initiative.
According to him, “I want to specifically drum support for the move that the NCC is making to deliberately reposition the Nigerian telecom industry ecosystem. The recent event ‘On Cost Study For The Determination Of Cost Based Pricing For Retail Broadband And Data Services In Nigeria’, organised by NCC recently, shows and can testify to the determination by the Commission to stabilise the industry.”
It takes a visionary leader to embark on such sensitive and nationalistic project for the betterment of the industry. We are optimistic that the consultant would do an excellent job and the entire industry is waiting for the outcome of this important exercise. The Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has on many occasion organised events to see how all existing companies that are operating in the industry can continue to exist and as well as make the industry more attractive to the investor with the plan to get true cost of producing broadband.
“I am sure that it would lead to more players and investors coming into the industry and this would definitely grow the industry. The government at all levels must encourage investment into the sector by reducing the cost of right of way, discontinued multiple taxation and have one shop for all their taxes and make foreign exchange available for the industry,” Ogungboye said.
NCC had in 2016, at the expiration of the old interconnect regime, engaged the services of the consultant, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) UK to review and update the existing model, taking into account the changes that have occurred over time and produce an interconnection cause model that is more in line with the current realities in Nigeria.
The outcome of the study is expected to usher in a new interconnect rate for voice calls in the telecoms sector, which is being planned to take effect from March 1
Interconnect rate is the amount of money that operator ‘A’ pays to operator ‘B’ when voice calls generated from the network of operator ‘A’, are terminated on the network of operator ‘B’.
Before now, the industry was operating at N24.40k per minute for international call termination rate and N4.30k per minute for local call termination rate, but some of the telecoms operators were not comfortable with the rates, and have complained that they were incurring huge debts from unsettled voice termination calls, a situation that has impacted negatively on voice call quality.