MTN Backs NCC Inquest Into Data Price

Dominant operator in the Nigerian Telecommunication industry, MTN Nigeria has thrown its weight

behind the industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) over its move to further

study the cost of data in order to fix a price floor that will ensure fair value and fair competition in the

Nigerian market.

The study which is to determine retail prices for broadband and data services in Nigeria came as a result

of the public outrage over the planned increase in data retail price by operators, which was to take

effect from December 1, 2016.

According to a statement by the Chief Executive Officer of MTN, Mr. Ferdinand Moolman at the Senate

Hearing on Data Floor in Abuja, MTN remains unrelentingly committed to the sustained provision of

affordable and accessible voice and data services in accordance with the National ICT and Broadband

plan, hence its backing of the regulator and the federal government in every effort geared at developing

the country’s ICT industry.

mtn-moolman

Mr. Moolman noted that despite some macro-economic challenges which include inflation rate, which

has risen up to 17.9 percent; depletion of operators’ revenue by activities of unlicensed ICT providers;

and inability of operators to access foreign exchange, telecom tariffs have dropped significantly in the

past nine years by over 67 percent, with data prices being among the lowest in Africa.

“With this in mind, MTN looks forward to the cost study as confirmed by the NCC, and remains

committed to working with the Regulator and Industry to ensure fair value and fair competition in the

Nigerian market,” he assured.

Enumerating the level of the company’s commitment to the growth of the industry, Mr Moolman noted

that MTN actively contributed to the development of the National Broadband Plan, and has consistently

taken every step to facilitate the achievement of Government’s objectives of pervasive, cost-effective

and sustainable access to data services by all strata of Nigeria’s population. “The company continues to

be an ICT development partner to the government and people of Nigeria. In line with this commitment

and to continue the provision of high speed data services to its esteemed customers, MTN recently bid

for, and acquired the 2.6GHz LTE spectrum at the cost of US$96million. MTN also launched 4G LTE

services, enabling faster access to digital platforms and igniting socio-economic development with a

multiplier effect on the economy.”

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It will be recalled that the NCC wrote to the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) on November 1, 2016 on

the determination of an interim price floor for data services after the stakeholder’s consultative meeting

of October 19, 2016. In the letter, the Commission issued a directive to introduce price floor for data

segment of the telecommunications sector beginning from December 1, 2016. The regulator explained

that the decision to have a price floor was primarily to promote a level playing field for all operators in

the industry, also to encourage small operators and new entrants.

Following concerns that visited the directive, the NCC promptly decided to suspend any further action in

that direction. The Commission said it had weighed all of the complaints by consumers across the

country and consequently asked all operators to maintain the status quo until the conclusion of study to

determine retail prices for broadband and data services in Nigeria.

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