• Monday, April 22, 2024
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NCC favors small telcos, releases new Interconnection rates for voice services

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Thursday released a new set of interconnect rates determination for voice services in Nigeria, after comprehensive consultations with stakeholders in the telecoms industry.

The new interconnect rate, according to the commission, significantly reviewed prices downwards, due to the depth of competition prevalent in the industry, whilst taken into consideration, the position of new entrant and smaller telecoms operators.

In view of this, the commission has determined that the termination rates provided by New Entrants and Small Operators in Nigeria, irrespective of the originating network, shall be: N6.40 (Six Naira Forty Kobo) from 1st April, 2013; N5.20 (Five Naira Twenty Kobo) from 1st April 2014; and N3. 90 (Three Naira Ninety Kobo) from 1st April, 2015. The regulator, in a statement signed by Tony Ojobo, director, public affairs, NCC also disclosed that the termination rates for voice services provided by other operators in Nigeria, irrespective of the originating network shall be: N4.90 (Four Naira Ninety Kobo) from 1st of April, 2013; N4.40 (Four Naira Forty Kobo) from 1st of April, 2014; and N3.90 (Three Naira Ninety Kobo) from 1st of April 2015.

New entrants are defined by the NCC as newly licensed operators entering an existing or new market within 0 to 3 years. Small operators on the other hand are defined for the purpose of determination, existing operators with a market share of 0-7.5 percent in terms of subscriber base. This determination however, according to the commission shall take effect from 1st of April 2013, and remain valid and binding on licensees for the next three years, until further reviewed by the commission.

The current interconnection rate regulation was implemented through the commission’s Interconnection Rate Determination, issued on 21st December, 2009. Since then, the Nigerian communications market has seen tremendous growth in subscriber numbers, as well as traffic volumes and available technologies (e.g. 3G). The current rate which is symmetric to all operators is N8.2

In June 2012, the commission appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP to undertake a cost study for voice interconnection. In line with its commitment to a policy of openness, transparency, fairness, and participatory regulation, the commission informed stakeholders in July 2012 of its engagement of PWC to advise on the review of interconnection rates for mobile and fixed telephony services. After series of meetings with operators and other stakeholders, PWC provided the commission with recommendations related to the regulation of voice interconnection.

 

 

BEN UZOR JR