The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says its decision to re-structure the Special Numbering Services segment if the Nation’s Telecoms sector is to delivers value to the final consumers and ensures sustainability of the industry.
NCC which is the custodian and manager of the toll-free and non-toll-free numbers licenses, on behalf of the Federal Government, convened a Stakeholders’ Forum on the ‘Determination of Call Termination Rate for Special Numbering Service Providers in Nigeria.
The forum, which held at the Conference Room, NCC Head Office in Abuja was attended by representatives of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), Special Numbering Service (SNS) providers and other stakeholders who participated actively in the discussions.
Addressing the gathering, the Director, Policy, Competition and Economic Analysis at NCC, Yetunde Akinloye, said the meeting was convened following the extensive work of a committee set up by the Commission to look into the issues and complaints emanating from the SNS segment of the telecoms market. A key concern according to her, was the perception of high cost of delivering services to end-users in the SNS segment.
“This meeting is convened to discuss issues pertaining to the special numbering services (SNS) segment of the Nigerian telecommunications market.
“Statutorily, the NCC is the custodian and manager of the toll-free and non-toll-free numbers licenses, on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“The SNS has been in existence for the past 15 years, with some licensees actively engaged in the segment. However, we have noted some observations and complaints from different quarters on the use of these numbers. We have observed, for instance, that there has been no effective utilisation of the numbers”, Akinloye stated
She further said the Commission had observed that the uptake of the numbers has been abysmally poor, contrary to NCC’s expectation as the sectoral regulator, while reiterating that the Commission has received complaints from the licensees regarding the perceived high rates and charges by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) who are owners of the major infrastructure being used by SNS providers to deliver services to end users.
She said the Committee which was set up to do a thorough review of the market segment; research similar markets in other jurisdiction for benchmarking; and determine the appropriate call termination rates, through proper investigation, consultation and stakeholder engagements, which necessitated the consultative forum.
The forum according to her is “to share outcomes of the Committee’s findings with the licensees, discuss the regulatory interventions that need to be taken and get inputs from all MNOs, SNS providers and other relevant stakeholders.”