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ALTON hails NSA intervention in protecting Base Transceiver Stations

Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Engineer Gbenga Adebayo has welcomed the recent move by the National Security Adviser (NSA) who has intervened by issuing a directive to state governors to advice their revenue agencies to stop closure of telecommunications base stations on the basis of revenue collection.

In an interview, he said the directive by NSA to the state governors highlighted the economic importance of telecommunications infrastructure which far over-weighs revenue consideration for shutting down of base stations.

Adebayo was upbeat that “If this directive is well implemented, it will translate to improved quality of service in 2017”.

The development has encouraged industry analysts to say the federal government is beginning to understand why telecoms facilities should be considered as among the critical national infrastructure if the nation’s economy must move forward.

Continuing, ALTON boss called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make available foreign exchange for telecom operators to access for network expansion, saying “Today, most of the operators are challenged in the area of securing foreign exchange for the importation of equipment for the upgrade of their network to deliver better service quality as well as in the launch of 4G LTE technology. If operators can’t secure foreign exchange to import equipment for network upgrade, it will jeopardize the efforts of government to improve broadband penetration in line with her 30 percent broadband target by 2018”.

To him, “Data floor price determination is meant for small operators not for big operators who will still survive with the present situation. We are trying to avoid a situation where CDMA operators died because of price war. If data price is determined, it will encourage small operators in the sector. We need to look at it beyond public sentiment and emotions around it and revisit the issue for the growth of the industry”.

Before now, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and by extension, the Ministry of Communications had been working on the psychic of several states government sto understand the critical value of BTS in national development.