NCC Plans Unused Data Roll Over To 14 Days

Following complaints, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is to extend the grace period of unused data roll over to 14 days.

But the National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMS) has said the 14 days was not enough.

Instead the association has called for an extension of unused data roll over to 30 days.

The President of NATCOMS, Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos.

Ogunbanjo, while describing the idea of 14 days as a welcome development, said that it was not enough considering the present economic situation as subscribers were not getting value for their money with regard to data usage.

“NCC should give at least 30 days grace instead of 14 days, because of the recent economic situation.

“One may also have pressing needs or competing demands in the family and may not have money to subscribe within the 14 days period,” the NATCOMS president said.

“The grace period for voice recharge is 90 days, hence, data subscription should not be different.’’

NAN also reports that the Executive Vice-Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said that subscribers would be given the 14 days grace, even if they do not renew on the date of data expiration.

Danbatta said that this would stop the present practice where subscribers would lose the entire unused data, if they failed to renew on the date of expiration of the present subscription.

According to him, NCC recognises that telecommunications services are very important to the nation’s development.

“NCC also recognises more importantly, that the consumers of telecommunications services deserve to get value for their money.

“NCC also recognises that consumer should be treated as a very important stakeholder in the scheme of things, as far as service delivery is concern.

“Let me recall that in the eight points agenda of my administration, the issue of empowerment and protection of consumers occupied the sixth position.

“The vision in this agenda is to protect consumers from unfair practices through availability of information and education to make informed choices in the use of ICT services,” he said.

NAN

Senate Did Not Okay Data Price Hike

Our attention has been drawn to a publication with the misleading title “ Senate Okays Data Price Hike, says NCC Acted in national Interest” in a national daily insinuating that the Senate through its Committee on Communications sanctioned data price increase by telecommunications service providers during an oversight visit to the Nigerian Communication Commission.

There is no iota of truth in the misleading title as the contrary is the case from what the Vice chairman of the Committee Senator Solomon Adeola said in his presentation during the briefing by NCC Executive Vice Chairman, Professor Umaru Dambatta.

Senator Adeola while commending the NCC for its achievements in recent times stated that the action it took in suspending the proposed data hike following public outcry was in the national and peoples’ interest stressing that their prompt responses to Senate inquiries on the matter and other related issues and a promise to undertake further scientific study on the data hike issue was commendable.

As can be seen from the body of the story no where did the senator ‘okays’ the regulatory agency recommended “price floor” which was the issue that gave rise to the proposed data price hike that has since been suspended.
Signed:

Chief Kayode Odunaro
Media Adviser to Senator Solomon Adeola
13th December, 2016.

Nigeria’s NCC Suspends Data Price Increase

The Nigerian Communications Commission on Wednesday announced the immediate suspension of the new minimum pricing template for data services by mobile operators.

The new rate, which would have led to price increase in data for some Nigerians, was scheduled to take effect from December 1.

The NCC said the decision is to allow for further consultation.

The NCC’s decision comes a few hours after the Senate ordered a stop to the planned increase.

Read the official press statement from NCC below:

NCC suspends directive on data segment price floor

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.

Signed

Tony Ojobo

Director, Public Affairs

NCC