NCC States Commitment To Fairness On Voice Termination Rate

NCC EVC Umar DanbattaThe nation’s telecommunications regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has noted that with the end of processes towards determining a mobile voice termination rate for the industry, the Commission will ensure fairness in setting rates that will ensure growth.

Executive Vice Chairman / CEO Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umaru Garba Danbatta made this pledge at the Stakeholders’ Forum to present the cost based study for the determination of mobile voice termination rate for the Nigerian telecommunications industry held in Lagos.

Harping on the need to establish a mutually beneficial interconnect rate, the NCC boss noted that the Commission has  a duty to establish a mobile voice termination rate that truly relates the cause of deploying service and interconnection of networks in Nigeria.

He noted that apart from the first interconnect rate between the then incumbent operator, the Nigerian Telecommunication (NITEL) and other operators, all other determinations have been handled by the NCC because to ensure that interconnection rates are cost oriented in line with international best practice, and to avoid the controversies that attended the past negotiated interconnection rate.

Explaining the determination criteria, the EVC said: “The 2003 regime was determined via benchmarking exercise, while the 2006, 2009 and 2013 regimes were cost-based and a glide path asymmetric regime was adopted in 2009 and 2013 respectively.”

He noted that while the 2013 regime was expected to expire in 2016, economic factors that bordered on rapid devaluation of the Naira and the fact that Nigerian operators became perpetual net payers to their interconnecting partners led to the Commission setting up the subsisting N24.40 per minute for inbound international traffic. This was done after it carried out a benchmarking exercise with other jurisdictions.

Prof Danbatta also informed that that the process of determining a new interconnect rate has been in progress since February 2017 and with the conclusion of the process by the consultant, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) UK, which was carried out in consultation with industry stakeholders, the result which was today subjected to open review will form the basis for final determination of mobile termination rate for the industry.

It will be recalled that over the years, some operators had canvassed for the restructuring of the international rate as it was lopsided and needed reviewing.

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