Business Hilights
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ISPs burst NCC’s plot with major networks, crash data tariffs to hijack market

At a time the federal government through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) seems to be ganging up with major GSM networks to jerk up price floor, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have started slashing tariff for their offerings while.

Business Hilights recalls that few weeks ago, there was some sort of mild drama between the NCC and GSM networks when two of them, MTN and Etisalat gave notices of intent to jerk up prices relying on what they claimed as NCC’s directive on price floors. But the bubble burst when Senators; on getting the hint directed the regulator to withdraw the said price floor controversy on grounds of poor handling at a time things are hard in the economy.

Though the observed price reduction is not applicable to 4G LTE service providers, indications are rife data bundles which were formerly offered at N35,000 by traditional ISPs have now been reduced to N20,000.

Some industry experts who spoke on the development described the scenario as marketing competition at work and ISPs are almost in a better stand to do so considering the reduction in the cost of bandwidth which has dropped to as low as N10,000 per Mbps.

Experts say the little confusion has opened way for smart but small ISPs in the country looking for customers to cash in and grow their subscriber base while the ‘big boys’ continue to fraternize with regulator on how to maintain their already ‘deep pockets’ in the industry.

Though other industry analysts say the situation may not be good for the industry after all as the cost of running base stations and deploying 4G LTE especially now the economy is in recession have gone too far.

But according to Sunday Folayan, President of the Internet Service Providers of Nigeria (ISPAN), argued that though there is reduction in the price charge by ISPs, he said GSM majors still hold the ace as their data price is cheaper when compared with value added services coming with their offers.

Though the crisis is not yet over as the NCC at the heat of the controversy said it will invoke a strategic scientific study of the sub sector and come out with a white paper on the entire pricing floor of data tariff.