So yesterday the chairman of Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, ALTON, Gbenga Adebayo, said in a statement in Lagos that there was need for an upward review of tariff, so as to offer better data services to subscribers or expect poor data services.
Mr. Adebayo said the operators fully understood the public sentiments that greeted the announcement of a minimum data tariff being introduced by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
He said “Further, the commission has since Wednesday suspended the implementation of its determination on the data tariff floor.
“ALTON notes that it is within the statutory remit of the NCC for it to make decisive interventions to address the data price concerns which had led to data prices falling to unreasonably low levels.
“This is with the effect that telecommunications operators were unable to recover the cost of providing data services and reinvest in capacity expansion to accommodate the increased usage arising from lower tariffs.
“The situation has been compounded by the recent economic challenges characterized by the steep depreciation of the naira.
“It is characterised by the need to resort to the parallel market and foreign exchange scarcity, which have considerably increased the capital and operational cost of providing telecommunications services.
“This has made current data tariffs unsustainable. “This situation, if left unaddressed, could result in a sustained deterioration in the quality of data services across all networks and the attendant poor quality of experience for users.
“In this regard, our members await the conclusion of NCC’s market study, when the commission will be in a position to determine its requisite intervention,” Mr. Adebayo said.
“ALTON also notes that price changes for data services across all networks following any intervention by the NCC are not expected to have a detrimental effect on broadband penetration contrary to some sentiments being expressed in the media.
Written by Okolo Ezinne