The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) may have advanced plans to
review upwards, the nation’s mobile voice termination rates for telecommunication,
according to the Executive Vice Chairman, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta,
Danbatta disclosed this plan at a Stakeholders’ Forum on the Cost Based
Study for the Determination of Mobile Voice Termination Rate for telecom
industry, held in Abuja on Wednesday.
He pointed out that the review has become necessary due to prevailing changes
in the industry since the last exercise, four years ago, noting that the attempt
would make the industry attain full competition and effective regulation by
providing a level playing ground for all participants.
“Since the last determination, the
Nigerian Communication Market has witnessed tremendous growth in both
subscriber numbers as well as traffic volumes. Changes in available
technologies, (2G, 2.5G, 3G and 4G) and other network elements, including
global financial markets which have an impact such as the cost of capital. The
scale of changes will inevitably affect the unit cost of providing services
including interconnection and may lead to differences between regulated
interconnection rates and underlying costs which in turn may result in
differences between on-net and off-net retail tariffs,” he said.
Danbatta also said, to ensure that interconnection services are not only
fairly priced and non-discriminative but should reflect the cost of providing
such services in the market.
For him, “It is in this regard that the Commission has decided to review the
rates set in 2013 Determination in the light of the current market realities”
insisting that the forum is consistent with the Commission’s principle of
ensuring participatory regulation, this initial Stakeholders Forum is held not
only to formally introduce the project consultant to the industry stakeholders,
but also to kickstart the project.
Danbatta emphasized that the supply of industry statistical data is most
crucial to the success of determining appropriate interconnection termination
rates for the telecommunications industry.
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