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TELCOS’s Moves To Increase Tariff

Telecom operators are making another bid for tariff hike to stay afloat rising costs, after the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) turned down their initial gambit last April without putting incentives on the ground to help keep them in business.

The Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) wants to raise the cost of voice calls, Short Message Service (SMS), and data to ensure quality service delivery in a harsh business terrain of rising diesel and petrol prices.

ALTON Chairman Gbenga Adebayo sought urgent steps to address the issue which is being raised again after the initial rebuff from the NCC nine months ago.

“We urgently need price review on the cost of telecom service delivery. If this is not done urgently, there will likely going to be more challenges in 2023 for telecom service providers,” he said, according to reporting by ThisDay.

“In order to focus on our core service delivery, telcos no longer handle the processes of building and maintaining of telecom masts.

“This has been outsourced to infrastructure companies like HIS that spend more money to maintain telecom sites for telecom service providers, which is also impacting on telecom service delivery.”

Concern over impact of challenges

ALTON in April 2022 wrote to the NCC seeking permission – as demanded by law – for a 40 per cent rise in the cost of SMS, voice call, and data services.

The letter expressed concern over the negative impact of economic and security challenges on the telecom industry with multiplier effects on service delivery across networks.

Adebayo argued the harsh environment that prompted the letter still persists, citing the cost of diesel that powers Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) which continues to rise and affects service delivery.

He said telecom delivery cost has remained static since inception of mobile services in 2001 even though other sectors of the economy continue to increase delivery cost.

He urged the NCC to reconsider the request for tariff rise, which it rejected last year saying no hike would be effected without regulatory approval after assessment.



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