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NCC Suspends directive on Data price hike

BellaNaija.com

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NCC LogoThe Nigerian communications Commission (NCC) has suspended its directive to telecom operators to increase the price of data tariffs.

This is contained in a statement signed by Tony Ojobo, the Director of Public Affairs of the NCC.

The statement titled “NCC suspends directive on data segment price floor” read:

Following the concerns that visited the directive to introduce price floor for data segment of the telecommunications sector beginning from December 1, 2016, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has suspended any further action in that direction.

The decision to suspend this directive was taken after due consultation with industry stakeholders and the general complaints by Consumers across the country.

The Commission has weighed all of this 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.

Recall that the Commission 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.

The decision to have a price floor was primarily to promote a level playing field for all operators in the industry, encourage small operators and new entrants.

The price floor in 2014 was N3.11k/MB but was removed in 2015. The price floor that was supposed to flag off on December 1, 2016 was N0.90k/MB.

In taking that decision, the smaller operators were exempted from the new price regime, by virtue of their small market share. The decision on the price floor was taken in order to protect the consumers who are at the receiving end and save the smaller operators from predatory services that are likely to suffocate them and push them into extinction.

The price floor is not an increase in price but a regulatory safeguard put in place by the telecommunications regulator to check anti-competitive practices by dominant operators.

This statement clarifies the insinuation in some quarters that the regulator has fixed prices for data services. This is not true because the NCC does not fix prices but provides regulatory guidelines to protect the consumers, deepen investments and safeguard the industry from imminent collapse.

Before the new suspended price floor of N0.90k/MB, the industry average for dominant operators including MTN Nigeria Communications Limited, EMTS Limited (Etisalat) and Airtel Nigeria Limited was N0.53k/MB.
Etisalat offered (N0.94k/MB), Airtel (N0.52k/MB), MTN (N0.45k/MB) and Globacom (N0.21k/MB).

The smaller operators/ new entrants charge the following: Smile Communications N0.84k/MB, Spectranet N0.58k/MB and NATCOMS (NTEL) N0.72k/MB.

The NCC as a responsive agency of government takes into consideration the feelings of the consumers and so decided to suspend the new price floor.

13 Comments

  1. Good News

    November 30, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    Nice to know.

  2. kudos

    November 30, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Let them work and improve on their services before talking about data.MTN service is zero.

  3. o

    November 30, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    Won jebi!!! Awon oniranu…

  4. Darius

    November 30, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    We don’t want it suspended. We want it rescinded. Whoever conceived the idea to increase data tariffs must be a kill-joy and a sadist. Surfing the net is therapeutic. It’s the only way I get to unwind. Now, somebody wants to put sand in my garri. I pray they don’t succeed.

    • Darius

      November 30, 2016 at 5:25 pm

      BN, pls, I don’t like this avatar.

  5. Tru

    November 30, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    Eh ehn, they should not suspend it, nansense. Shebi the numbers of the Minister of communication were published and we were gonna kill his lines with calls and texts. Mschewwww

  6. Sheri

    November 30, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    Can anybody please please explain to me the whole price floor thing works, ie; 90/MKB. What is good and what is bad? Judging from the information up there, who is cheaper to surf with? Etisalat? Airtel? Smile etc. Please!!!

    • tunmi

      November 30, 2016 at 6:17 pm

      The goal was to allow Nigerians have more options and more better options. New entrants and those with a market share of less than 7.5% would be allowed to price less than the price floor of 90kobo/MB whereas those who have been operating for over 3 years and those who have a market share of more than 7.5% have to charge from a minimum of 90kobo.

      The current Giants which are Etisalat, Glo, and Airtel have more than 7.5% of consumers. Because the lowest they would be allowed to charge is 90kobo per MB, they would have to improve their options whether it be quality and/or customer service to entice customers. Now that who are small in size (have less than 7.5% of the market) or new to the mobile market (less than 3 years) could charge lower.

      It really is a good plan because the consumers would have more options and the large companies would be forced to actually work harder for the consumers. If you are a large company, you have to provide quality for consumers to stay with you, even if that means you are charging more but you could afford to charge less BECAUSE YOU ARE A BIG COMPANY. And if you are a small company or a newbie, you get to charge less but that doesn’t mean you can slack off because consumers can easily go to a large company that offers quality.

    • Darius

      November 30, 2016 at 7:25 pm

      @Tunmi, haven’t you noticed that any policy instituted by the government to better the lives of Nigerians never achieves the intended result? They’ll tell us something is for our own good, but at the end of it all, no good will come out of it. The Nigerian government has the knack of making things difficult for us. They should leave the current data tariffs the way it is. We are not complaining.

  7. Kanyin

    November 30, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    The move to bring back data floor was a good one.
    Nigerians… even Gala has increased to N70. Almost everything has increased by 50% or more. How do you expect ISPs to continue providing data to you at such ridiculous rates?! The cost of running and maintenance has also increased!!!! The govt is not subsidizing the cost of running business which is on a new high. So how do you expect these ISPs to keep running whilst revenue nose dives. When data usage and revenue are inversely proportional. It can’t work.

    NCC did not increase data plans as stated above, they only brought back data floor which means that ISPs can’t charge below a certain rate.

    Let’s take glo for example. You pay 4K for 18GB right? They obviously don’t have the required resources to sustain this so what happens? It becomes frustrating to stream a video or do anything online. So yeah your data balance reads 18GB for 30/33 days but you can’t use more than 2GB. No value for money. Now because of criminals like Glo, etisalat that provides you good data service is forced to bring down their price. Of course this is not sustainable And in the end, what we get is crappy service across board. Who do we blame then?
    What NCC is doing is just fair. Create a leveled playing field. So we can get value for money spent.

  8. Millie

    November 30, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    Maybe someone at NCC owns one of these so called “new entrants” the decision might be beneficial, but the timing was wrong.

  9. GANNY OGUNSHAKIN

    November 30, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    President Mohamodu Buhari better call whomever is responsible for this price hike at NCC to order before they further worsen the economic situation in the Country. Maybe this idiots don’t know that when the bottom line of these multinational Corporations are threatened in anyway, they have a way to cover their losses. ( Massive job cuts or lay offs.) Power show everywhere you turn to in Nigeria. How can these economic illiterates be so insensitive and clueless not to have considered first the Consequencial effect the Data price increase might have on the Nigerian economy before announcing it. If I may recall, Nigeria is not in a Military rule. President Buhari should let Nigerians know who is the leader of this government. With every dick, Tom and Harry lucky appointed to work for his administration feeling the need to show their usefulness by announcing one outrageous way to collect money from fellow Nigerians. Nigerians are no suckers. Mr. President let us know your government has a genuine economic plan. For the Country. Not all this by the road side policy being announced by people working for you trying to sabotage your government.. Yesterday it was Tunde Fowler of the Internal Revenue Service trying to take the laws into his own hands. Now, it’s another moron at the helms of affairs at the NCC. When will all these power show stop? Nigeria is trying to kill the only industry that’s working for her. Na waa oooooh. Wonders shall never end. A word is enough for the wise. I ‘ m. Just saying.

  10. Devine

    December 4, 2016 at 8:35 am

    I’m still trying to understand this data price floor concept.

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