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Thursday, December 24, 2009

NCC guides against dominance among operators

Telecomregulator, Nigerian Communications Commissions (NCC), has commenced measures to check dominance of some telecom operators against others, by putting in place a policy that will encourage competitive and versatile communication market environment in the country.

This came as telecom giants MTN Nigeria and Zain Nigeria refuted allegations of dominance leveled against them.

The Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, gave this hope of new policy against dominance last weekend in Abuja at a forum on “Dominance in selected telecommunication markets.”

He said that a fair competitive environment is sine qua non for an efficient and versatile communications market in Nigeria.

“To promote this desired environment, it is imperative to identify which operators are in dominant positions in the specified market, determine whether they are abusing such positions in the specified markets or not. Our findings will help us determine the direction we should take to remedy such situations,” he said.

Ndukwe also said the regulatory body had called for the forum given series of complaints sent to the commission by corporate organizations to investigate the matter stressing that as a step McCarthy Tetrault & Co., an evaluation consulting firm was invited to assist in carrying out an independent evaluation of the Nigerian telecoms market situation.

Senior Manager, MTN Nigeria, Ms. Oyeronke Oyetunde, at the consultative forum denied that MTN is using its infrastructural edge to controls the mobile market in Nigeria.

“MTN is not dominant. We believe that the market is effectively competitive enough.
The market is still in the growing rate,” she said, insisting that despite the current global meltdown, the new entrants into the market are doing well in the telecom market.

She called on the Federal Government to strengthen the telecommunication market in a way to make it more conducive for more investors to come in.

Equally speaking, Zain Nigeria Ltd, Manager, Government and Environment, Mr. Tobe Okigbo said that Zain has no capacity on its own nor the ability to collude with MTN or any other company in the same line of business to establish dominance in the industry.

“Everybody has been losing subscribers because of the new entrants, especially the reduction of rates from the new entrants. Because we have the highest number of subscribers does not mean we abuse dominance,” he noted.


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