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‘High base station rentage, poor tower management key drawbacks of ISPs’

Two reasons have been adduced as major challenges of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the country.

These according to chief operating officer, Direct On Data, Satis Kumar cannot be unconnected to issues bordering on exorbitant base station rent cost and inefficiency in tower management by operators.

He said the listed harsh business conditions, coupled with forex crisis and Right of Way are hobbling activities in the sector and the first line charge remains dropping quality of data services.

According to him, “Most times our base stations go down apparently because the attendant is not around to put on the generator when public power supply goes off, sometimes there are diesel issues. Some of our clients are providing critical services that don’t need their internet to go down even for a second. How do you explain this situation?”

Giving details of the financial involvements in the business, Kumar averred that ISPs are charged between N3.6million to N4million per tower for a year, stressing that “This cost depends on the type of equipment being hang on the tower as some equipment consume more power than others and some take space more than others”.

On the other hand, findings by industry experts showed that average cost incurred in the maintenance of telecommunications towers in the country has risen to $160 million from $104 million every month in the past one year

This was hinted by an official of a tower management firm who revealed that “About 60 percent of the cost of managing a tower goes to provision of power, such as diesel and maintenance of generators. Where there is public power supply, the tariff has gone up.”