NIGERIA | Govt to fix mobile phone call rates

NIGERIA | Govt to fix mobile phone call rates

NIGERIA | Govt to fix mobile phone call rates

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The Federal Government is reviewing termination rates among mobile network operators (MNOs), a move that will affect call rates paid by mobile phone consumers in Nigeria.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says the planned review of mobile interconnection rates among MNOs is being considered following a study by consulting company, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and will re-position “the telecoms sector for greater heights.”

Mobile interconnection rates are rates exchanged by network operators for mutual exchange of telecoms traffic on their networks that also form baselines for determining price paid by mobile phone consumers.

The telecoms regulator will determine “appropriate interconnection termination rates” for MNOs, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC says in remarks delivered on his behalf by Miss Josephine Amuwa, Director Policy Competition and Economic Analysis at the government agency.

“NCC says the report of the seminal study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers for the telecommunication industry in Nigeria focused on cost-based determination of mobile voice termination rate.”

NATCOM must pay, Professor Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman at NCC, insists
Professor Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC

“An impeccable and functional interconnection regime is pivotal to enhancing competition and effective regulation. The imperative of the project evidently found expression in the exponential growth in the number of subscribers, as well as in the volume of traffic on the networks, which are both shaped by the dynamics of technologies, and the existential realities of the global financial markets”, Danbatta told the audience at an event to unveil the PWC study to industry stakeholders at the NCC head office in Abuja.

NCC says the report of the seminal study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers for the telecommunication industry in Nigeria focused on cost-based determination of mobile voice termination rate.

The telecoms regulator wants stakeholders “to supply industry statistical data promptly because of its centrality in the determination of appropriate interconnection termination rates.”

Danbatta says that NCC has a duty to ensure that interconnection services are fairly priced, non-discriminatory, and reflect the real cost of providing such services in the market.

According to him, the study “will among other benefits provide opportunity to thoroughly examine the emergence of grey market activities in the telecoms industry in Nigeria such as call refiling, call masking, and SIM-Box fraud following the introduction of an interim International Termination Rate (ITR) for inbound international traffic.”

NCC says that the study’s 11 focus areas include developing measures to reduce or eliminate grey markets in the telecoms industry in Nigeria; evaluation of the subsisting interconnect regime; and to determine if there is need for different termination rate for national/domestic and international traffic, among others.

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