Telecommunications companies under the umbrella of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria said they plan to start conversations soon on the state of the telecommunications industry with the Federal Government through the Nigerian Communications Commission.
ALTON chairman Gbenga Adebayo revealed this during a quick call with our correspondent on Monday.
He said: “We don’t give our regulator a timetable. We would only give information on the current state of affairs in the industry. And we know that the regulator would conduct a study or review the data that we provided. So we can’t give our regulator a timeline.
“We expect some conversations to start now about this.”
This comes in response to a recent letter from the association to the NCC on the state of the telecommunications industry.
In the letter, the telecom operators proposed a 40% increase in the cost of calls, texts and data due to the increased cost of running a business in the country.
Reacting to the outrage that followed the expected rise in the cost of telecom services, the NCC said telecom operators could not raise costs without proper regulatory approval from it.
According to the regulator, any determination of costs is generally the result of transparent studies that are fair to strengthen healthy competition between operators, offer wider choices to subscribers and ensure the sustainability of the telecommunications industry.
The NCC said: “However, while there may be justifiable reasons for MNOs to request a rate increase, it should be noted that they are not permitted to do so individually or collectively without recourse to the NCC, following the results of a cost study. This is not the case at the moment. »
Also, while speaking on Sunrise Daily on Monday, Adebayo said the current pricing regime in the telecom industry cannot support the industry.
He said: “We face different economic realities. And the fact remains that if we look at the economic indices, the current pricing regime is not sustainable.
“And what we did was approach our regulator, present them with a case to show them where we are as an industry. We have made recommendations on some of the things that can be done to prevent price revision.
“But certainly, given the global price of energy given the challenges we face in our operating environment, if we don’t get any regulatory intervention, it would be a bit difficult to support the industry with the regime. current pricing we have.”
According to him, the telecom sector is a highly regulated industry, and any tariff increase must have the approval of the regulator.
He added that telecommunications operators could not change the prices of telecommunications services without regulatory approval.
Adebayo said, “We must warn that no industry is immune to failure. To avoid any catastrophic situation in our sector, we say look at the reality of our prices, look at the challenges we face. Let the government do something to avoid this kind of explosion.
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