Wednesday, February 15, 2017

NCC plans upward review of mobile voice termination rates

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, reports ITRealms.

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.

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE
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