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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Solutions abound in current dispensation – Omo-Ettu

Remmy Nweke

With the introduction of the Unified Licensing Regime (ULR) in Nigeria, last March, solutions abound for consumers in the current dispensation, according to the chief executive, The Executive Cyberschuul Lagos, Mr. Titi Omo-Ettu.

Dwelling on the “Consumers expectation in ULR” at a one-day seminar on Internet Service in ULR regime put together by a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Nigeria Internet Group (NIG), Omo-Ettu, who also is a member of the board of trustee of the group, said ULR translates to a one-stop service availability, especially through the internet.

Consumer basic expectations, he said, encompasses availability of solutions, quality of service and low tariff.

As said by him, ULR begets into the sector availability of television, radio, telephone over the internet and brings a stop to duplication of subscriptions and the need to carry multiple telecommunications terminals about.

For Nigeria as a nation, he said ULR has the potential to leapfrog the economy by catching up with other lands in provision of popular and premium services despite specific local solutions and unique local problems.

On the Quality of Service (QoS), Omo-Ettu who presides over Telecom Answers Limited, noted that as the unified licensing regime unfolds, growth would need to be stabilized thereby reducing what he called ‘mushrooming’.

And while corporate governance is expected to rise, mergers would emerge at all fronts paving the way for meaningful competition in the telecommunications sector.

On the other hand, he said, ULR would ease out the less efficient and unserious service providers among Internet Service Providers, because the robust environment would also seek to improve on level of questions from consumers and answers in terms of responses from service providers.

As for the tariff, the telecom expert pointed out that economy of scale would be utmost in the minds of consumers as setup cost is anticipated to get less while access increases with multiple Value Added Services (VAS) on the prowl.

“Unified licensing enhances the exploitation of converging technologies and innovations in wireless services, even as it allows for a modular integration of services and new solutions without much regulatory stress. Therefore, it builds true competition,” Mr. Omo-Ettu declared.

He pointed out further that it could be upheld that consumers expectations changes in ULR to an extent, such as media influences and promptings. Yet, consumers’ expectations do not change with policy reviews.

According to him, the esteem of governments would only be lowered if policy reviews do not translate to improved satisfaction of consumers’ normal expectations.

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