NIGERIA | 9Mobile seeks data price reviews by regulator

NIGERIA | 9Mobile seeks data price reviews by regulator

NIGERIA | 9Mobile seeks data price reviews by regulator

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9Mobile, the number four mobile phone company has asked government for a basket of regulatory concessions including review of data pricing.

9Mobile, the company formerly called Etisalat Nigeria, that was taken over by creditors told the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) that the concessions will enable it repay its debt.

Mr Tony Ojobo, Director, Public Affairs at NCC said in a statement made available to Technology Times that Mr Boye Olusanya, CEO of the mobile phone company tabled the requests when the 9Mobile team visited the telecoms regulator in Abuja.

The 9Mobile CEO asked for the regulatory concessions for the mobile phone company “in order for 9Mobile to shore up its revenue and meet its financial obligations accordingly.”

9Mobile is asking for a review of data floor price in the telecoms industry, which is often the baseline determinant of prices that operators charge their subscribers.

Market data from NCC showed that at mid-2017, the Nigeria mobile phone market has 143,064,490 active connections and 91,598,757 Internet subscribers.

The 9Mobile CEO asked for the regulatory concessions for the mobile phone company “in order for 9Mobile to shore up its revenue and meet its financial obligations accordingly.”

 Director Licensing and Authorization, NCC. Funlola Akiode (left); Sunday Dare ECSM; EVC/CEO Prof. U.G Danbatta; Mr. Boye Olusanya, Chief Executive Officer 9mobile (formerly Etisalat Nigeria); and Ibrahim Dikko, Vice President Regulatory and Corporate Affairs 9mobile during the visit

Director Licensing and Authorization, NCC. Funlola Akiode (left); Sunday Dare ECSM; EVC/CEO Prof. U.G Danbatta; Mr. Boye Olusanya, Chief Executive Officer 9mobile (formerly Etisalat Nigeria); and Ibrahim Dikko, Vice President Regulatory and Corporate Affairs 9mobile during the visit

The mobile phone company also wants a review of interconnect rates to asymmetric platform, which will cuts relatively smaller operators a bigger chunk of the deal when they exchange telecoms traffic with bigger rival players.

9Mobile, which is the fourth biggest by subscriber base in the Nigerian telecoms market, has benefitted from the asymmetric mobile termination rates (MTRs).

The company is again calling for restoration of the preferential Asymmetric MTRs, which will let the mobile phone company leverage its relatively smaller market share to earn higher revenues during exchange of traffic with bigger rivals like MTN Nigeria and Glo Mobile.

During the shuttle diplomacy of the 9Mobile executives to NCC, they also asked for concessions in the area of spectrum assignment, concessional foreign exchange access, national roaming and others “in order for 9Mobile to shore up its revenue and meet its financial obligations accordingly.”

Meanwhile, Professor Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman (EVC)/Chief Executive of NCC has explained why the telecoms regulator intervened to save 9Mobile during its debt issues with 13 creditor banks.

According to Danbatta, at stakes were “the over $2B Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), by Mubadala of United Arab Emirates (UAE) was hanging, while 20million Subscribers and over 2000 workers would have been affected if we did not intervene in the matter with a view to finding an amicable resolution”

According to Danbatta, at stakes were “the over $2B Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), by Mubadala of United Arab Emirates (UAE) was hanging, while 20million Subscribers and over 2000 workers would have been affected if we did not intervene in the matter with a view to finding an amicable resolution”

Prof. Danbatta of NCC (left) handshake with Mr. Boye Olusanya, Chief Executive Officer 9Mobile
Prof. Danbatta of NCC (left) handshake with Mr. Boye Olusanya, Chief Executive Officer 9Mobile

Resolving the issue was also partly to forestall any form of disincentive to the FDI, the telecoms regulatory chief told the 9Mobile CEO, who visited him with Mr Ibrahim Dikko, Vice-President, (Regulatory Affairs) at the mobile phone company.

The NCC EVC says that if the company had gone under, this would have created a social problem especially with the job of over 2,000 Nigerians on the line, a situation which he said “was capable of creating security challenges for the country.”

NCC collaborated with CBN to avert a looming economic disaster, Danbatta said adding that “we want to see a viable and thriving 9Mobile and we want to cooperate with you so that things can move seamlessly and be successful.”

Danbatta further assured the 9Mobile team of the Commission’s cooperation to grow its network.

Technology Times Reports News and reports from Technology Times Newsroom

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