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Data Floor Plan: ALTON Cries Out “ISPs Selling Below Cost”

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Association of Licensed Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ALTON) has called on the National Assembly to urgently review the position on the telecommunications Data Floor Plan. 

To save the ‘smaller’ internet service providers (ISPs) from imminent shutdown, the Association lamented that most of the ISPs are operating under harsh economic conditions, and forced to sell data to subscribers at ‘unprofitable costs’.

According to the Association, there is urgent need for the National Assembly to allow the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and other stakeholders to immediately revisit the suspended Data Floor Price.

Data Floor Plan Price is a partial price control measure, which is the lower limit price to check unhealthy but foster healthy competition among players.

The price floor is a means of controlling anti-competitive behaviors by operators considered to have attained the dominant status in the industry.

However,  there is a limit to how low ISPs could charge for data services; the regulator in October 2015, approved the removal of data floor price, giving internet service providers opportunity to drop their data prices as low as they can in order to survive. 

But, this was vehemently opposed by Nigerians, which led to the National Assembly ordering the NCC to back off the process.

Speaking at a recent ICT Journalists’ organised breakfast discussion, Engineer Gbenga Adebayo, president of ATCON said, “It is an issue we have treated extensively, but the way it’s perceived by the public is as though the operators have come to take something away from them. Reality of the matter is there is a cost and there is price. Cost is how much it takes to provide the service.

“Price is the cost plus your margin. It is a basic economics. What it means some of the service offerings today, providers are selling at cost and in some cases, below cost. When I came on this role, we had 35 members; some of you know them- Reltel, Intercellular, Mobitel, VGComs, Starcomms, Multilinks, MonaCom and the rest of them. Before then, these people have done other businesses and were successful, but when they came to the telecoms, due to the circumstances, so to say, they didn’t succeed. Where are they today. So, we have today, the big and mega big. It’s only the small provider that changes the rules of the game”.

He said that the present data floor plan gives room for the emergence of monopoly in the data segment of the market.

“If we do not allow the small providers to survive, competition will not thrive. Let me remind us where we are coming from: the bigger operator told us per second billing was not possible and we believed it. But while a smaller operators in those days, came and said ‘from today I will start with per second billing. it changed the rules of the game.

“Imagine if a situation never allowed a small player to compete, what would have happened? Recently, I was asking, where are the ISPs? Do we still have ISPs? The story is a very simple one: you approach NCC and apply for licence as internet service provider. They give you this license; you approach the operator to buy bandwidth to resell and redistribute to your customers.

“The day your service is commissioned on SAT, the Big operator comes with the mega package; half your package. How will you survive. So, we are saying, unless we are allowed for a minimum level of price, it will be very difficult for the small players to survive. Someone said to me: if you people think you cannot make profit and then you want to increase rate, you people should leave that business.

“Our answer: no problem! It is a simple story. But when the small players leave, the big player will still decide on what they want to do. The truth: the small player will leave in the first day; if the circumstances don’t change, the big players will leave the second day. It is only a matter of time.

“Some stories I read few days ago, I read similar stories 10 years ago. We remember the story of late Laba Joseph. What led to his death? Bank debt! In those days, it was for a small player. The society didn’t attach much meanings to it; today, it has become the topic of the day, because it happens to them, they are one of the mega players”, he said.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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Telecom

Reps Query Non-Patronage of Nigeria’s Multi-Billion Satellite

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Committee on Information Communication Technology of the House of Representatives has been mandated the to investigate the cause of non-patronage of the multibillion Nigeria Communications Satellite Limited.

 

The committee is also to proffer solutions and report back to the House within four weeks for further legislative action.

 

The House resolution followed a motion sponsored by Honourable Danasabe Hosea entitled, “Need to Investigate the Non Patronage of the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT)”.

 

The lawmaker recalled that the Federal Government had contracted Kosmo – 3m Rocket from Russian Plesetsk Spaceport to launch its first Earth Observation Satellite, the Nigeria – 1 on September 17, 2003, at the cost of ₦30 million.

 

He added that, “Nigcomsat – 1 Communications Satellite was launched in China at the cost of ₦200 million, but it failed in orbit in 2008 after running out of power, owing to an anomaly in its solar array.

 

The Federal Government he added that, had, since 2003, spent about ₦85 billion on five Satellites which were meant to provide communication data and images for government agencies and the private sector with the aim of saving billions of foreign exchange and generating revenues estimated at $ 20 billion for the country.

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NCC Set To Dump Paper Numbering for Automated Numbering System, Meets Stakeholders

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Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday held a consultative forum with a broad spectrum of stakeholders as part of the processes planned towards the introduction of an automated numbering system in Nigeria.

 

This is Consistent with the commission’s distinctive tradition of broad spectrum consultation prior to taking regulatory decisions.

 

Speaking during the consultation forum, Ubale Maska, Executive Commissioner Technical Services who represented Prof. Umar Danbatta, the EVC/CEO of NCC informed the participants that, “Numbers are scarce resource and one of the core functions of the Commission is to ensure that this scarce resource is effectively and efficiently managed”.

 

He also informed the audience that the automated system will be launched very soon by the Commission.

 

Paul Dinwoke, CEO Molcon Multiconcepts Limited, Consultants to NCC on the project also told the participants that some of the benefits of the automated system include convenience, transparency, efficiency, easy tracking, ability to choose number options, and strengthening of online payment systems.

 

Bako Wakil, Deputy Director Technical Standards and Network Integrity also told the audience that the deployment of automatic numbering management system is part of NCC’s efforts to automate her business processes within and outside the Commission.

 

The Forum was attended by many stakeholders, including licensees of the Commission and staff.

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Telecom

Five Reasons To Stop Wearing Headphones Always

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By Ogunfowoke Adeniyi

Headphones are very important because they make work and travel more fun. Therefore, it’s so common today to see people strolling with their headphones.

Despite the seeming advantage (s) of headphones, it should not be constantly plugged in your ears for the following reasons shared by Jumia Travel, the leading online travel agency.

 

You Can’T Hear Cars Coming At You

It’s much safer to walk around without your headphones. This is because you cannot hear cars coming at you and this can lead to an unavoidable accident. According to research, serious injuries have increased 300% in the last six years for pedestrians wearing headphones. So, make it a rule not to use your headphones on the road.

 

Headphones Overuse Can Damage Your Ears

Your ears may be damaged if you overuse headphones. So it’s probably best to let them breathe now and then.

 

You Can’T Hear The People Around You

For people who are headphone addicts, they must have been told several times by a friend that they called out to them and they didn’t respond. Why? Because they had their headphone plugged in. If this is the report you always get, it is time to stop plugging your ears when you are around people.

 

You Miss The Little Things

After sight, hearing is the most important sense that engages us. If we can see but lack the sound-correlated ambience, we become dissociated. It’s like we are putting our minds on autopilot, and just going through the motions of daily life.

 

You Risk Coming Off As Rude

Even if you’re the friendliest person around, headphones make you unapproachable. It makes it harder for people to call out to you.

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