The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has directed the five big telecoms operators in the country to increase their data tariffs from Thursday, December 1, in order to allow small operators and new entrants to acquire market share and operate profitably, Daily Trust has learnt.
An NCC official who pleaded anonymity told Daily Trust yesterday that the regulator came up with the new data regime after some new entrants into the market complained that there was no way they could break even if they operated on same data regime with the likes of MTN, Glo, Etisalat and Airtel.
He said NCC yielded to their pressure when last month it notified the operators of the new rate.
In a letter to the mobile operators dated November 1, NCC said the interim floor price for data services was 0.90k/MB for the five big operators.
But it said the rate would subsist pending the finalisation of the study on the determination of cost based pricing for retail broadband and data services in the country.
“For the avoidance of doubt a small operator is one that has less than 7.5 percent market share and a new entrant is an operator that has operated less than three years in the market.
“All operators are to ensure that subscribers are not automatically migrated to pay-as-you-go platform.
“Also, note that effective date for the interim price floor is December 1, 2016.”
NCC’s spokesman, Mr Tony Ojobo could not be reached yesterday night as his mobile line appeared to have been switched off.
Also, efforts to contact the spokesman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Mr Gbolahan Ogunsanwom proved abortive.
Yesterday, MTN sent messages to its customers stating that there would an increase in its data tariffs on December 1.
The message read: “Dear customer, please be informed that from December 1, some MTN data tariffs will be increased to reflect the new rates set by the NCC to operators. Thanks you”
Glo, Etisalat and Airtel sent similar messages to some of their customers.