A news that had been trending on the tech media for some days now is the topic that NCC plans Internet users will pay more for data from december 1st in Nigeria. The information broke out but was seeming it wasn't going to be true until now.
The NCC is the Nigeria Communications Commission, which is a body that regulates every aspect of communication and networks operations in Nigeria.
On Monday its was confirmed from the NCC that all telecommunications companies across Nigeria would have to increase their data plan price paid by subscribers, this means that you and i here in Nigeria will be paying more that we did on the cost of the data we use to browse the internet or download. It was learnt that this will take effect from the the 1st of December, 2016.
The telecommunications companies in Nigeria have confirmed this new development, the information was confirmed as they said it was a directive from the NCC. A senior staff worker at Etisalat Nigeria confirmed and i quote...
“The NCC issued the directive late last week on the orders of the Federal Government. We have not announced it yet because most of the major telcos have been meeting the NCC on how to reverse this policy, because it will be too harsh for Nigerians.
“However, we further gathered that the Federal Government took the decision having discovered that data rates are very low-priced in Nigeria, compared to other countries, including nearby African countries.
“The government might have also taken the decision given that Nigerian subscribers have been kicking against the proposed nine per cent Communication Tax, whose bill is currently in the National Assembly.”
Another staff at MTN Nigeria added...
“What this means is that MTN, Airtel, Etisalat And Globacom will increase their data rates as from December 1, 2016. A data plan of N1,000 for 1.5 Gigabytes will now be increased to N3,000 at N1,000 per 500 Megabytes.”
MTN Nigeria Officially confirmed to the NCC directive, that it has agreed to implement it. This was made openly true when MTN Nigeria sent a text message to all its subscribers saying...
“Dear customer, please be informed that from 1st of December, some MTN data tariffs will be increased to reflect the new rates set by the NCC for operators. Thank you.”
In a letter sent from the NCC to all telecoms operators in Nigeria read..
This rate will subsist pending the finalisation of the study on the determination of cost-based pricing for retail broadband and data services in Nigeria.
“In order to provide a level playing field for all operators in the industry, small operators and new entrants to acquire market share and operate profitably, small operators and new entrants are hereby exempted from the price floor for data services.”It added, “For the avoidance of doubt a small operator is one that has less than 7.5 per cent 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.”
|Executive Vice-Chairman, Nigeria Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Dambattas|
"The NCC representative was being economical with the truth."
For MTN to have sent out millions of text messages to its subscribers “clearly shows that the NCC indeed issued the directive.”
Ogunbanjo, however, said that the association would resist the tariff hike, adding, “We will challenge it in court. We are going right away to set the machinery in motion. We are also going to do an urgent letter to the NCC Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, which we will drop in his e-mail box.
“Unfortunately, the notice is short; today is November 28, yet the order will take effect from December 1. It is not just good for broadband penetration, whatever the reason may be. It is against telecoms subscribers.”
According to him, data availability means more youth engagement because they use data to develop apps and build software.
“But with what the NCC has done, these boys who develop apps will be slowed down and limited. The cost of doing business will also increase,” - he added.