Business Hilights
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NCC signals emerging hike in voice services as it determines voice termination rate

Indications are beginning to emerge on possibilities of sudden rise in the cost of voice services provided by GSM networks across the country.

This is coming few months after an initial move to hike data price floor collapsed due to poor handling leading to lawmakers’ intervention which halted the move late last year.

Rising from a stakeholder’s forum on the cost based study for the determination of mobile voice termination rate for the Nigerians Telecommunications industry organized by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in Abuja, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said new determination with stakeholders is underway and may result in tariff increase for mobile voice termination rate.

Business Hilights recalls that the last time such review was done was in the first quarter of 2013 which became effective from April 1, same year.

Making further remarks, Danbatta said “Since the last determination, the Nigerian communications 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 over inputs 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 tariffs.”

Danbatta represented by the Commission’s head of policy competition and economic analysis, Mrs. Josephine Amuwa said the review was necessary in order to ensure that interconnection services are not only fairly priced and non-discriminate but should reflect the cost of providing such services in the market.

He said the commission considered current market realities and decided to review the rates set in its 2013 determination.

It was not clear if NCC has concluded work on the study bordering on data price floor which it suspended last year before coming up with issues on voice.