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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

WASPAN enjoins stakeholders’ collaboration for VAS growth





The Wireless Applications Service Providers Ltd GTE (WASPAN) has solicited collaboration of all stakeholders in the nation’s telecommunications sector to attract adequate economic growth for the Value Added Service (VAS) sub-sector of the industry, reports ITRealms.

WASPAN made this call through its National Coordinating Consultant, Mr. Simon Aderinola, told ITRealms that collaboration in a burgeoning industry like telecommunications.

He explained to ITRealms that wireless application sub-sector is one that has emerged globally in recent years and not part of the traditional telecommunications services. 

This reality, he said, brought to the fore the uncertainty about how to regulate the activities of wireless application providers and how to help develop the sub-sector.

Mr. Aderinola equally told ITRealms that the problem was not unusual to Nigeria, stressing that in many countries after initial problems, collaboration between network operators, application service providers, the industry regulator and other stakeholders had led to the development of the industry with greater economic prospects.

For this reason, he said that Nigeria needs to learn from the successes of other models adopted in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Kenya and most recently Ghana.

“These are countries where the wireless application services industry is doing well. These countries collaborated to develop a framework that is now successfully benefitting stakeholders,” he told ITRealms.

Aderinola further pointed out to ITRealms that following unending controversies, especially between mobile networks and wireless application services providers in the past, WASPAN in 2012 invited experts from South Africa to help in sharing their experiences on the subject matter, Dr. Leon Pellman. 

According to him, Dr. Leon Pellman was the consultant that assisted South Africa  to set up the country’s joint industry regulatory framework by leading a delegation to Nigeria and had useful discussions with several stakeholders in the country on how to develop application service sub-sector in the telecom industry.

He underscored the fact that collaboration amongst stakeholders cannot be overemphasized, maintaining that joining forces would accelerate the realisatoon of potentials of the sub-sector and the industry generally.

He noted that recently industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) declared that the volume of businesses on mobile Value Added Service (VAS) segment is valued at $200 million, about N 37,010,000,000 year-on-year.

The revenue is, according to NCC, is expected to double in excess of $500 million in the next few years if proper regulatory framework is put in place.

A major issue of disagreement between WASPAN and mobile networks is the current revenue sharing formula that gives close to 80 per cent to the networks.

Another is the gradual encroachment by mobile network operators into the wireless applications sub-sector and the stifling of growth of small companies.

It will be recalled that NCC had called a stakeholders’ meeting earlier in the month to discuss several issues bedeviling wireless application services.

A fall out, he noted was the proclamation by the Executive Vice-Chairman of NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah that a plan to develop an industry-driven regulatory framework to strengthen the mobile VAS market would soon be unveiled.
 

ITREALMS ... delivering news for ICT4D
Pix: Mr. Simon Aderinola,

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