Enter your email address below and subscribe to our newsletter

Telecom Operators in Nigeria Prepare to Increase Tariff for Voice and Data Services

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

Share your love

Brace yourselves, Nigerians! Your phone bills might soon pack a heavier punch, all thanks to telecom operators in Nigeria.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) greenlights telecom operators in Nigeria to request increased tariffs on voice and data services, citing rising operational costs and economic pressures.

This move, if approved, could significantly impact how much you spend on staying connected.

The Squeeze on Operators

Nigeria’s telecom landscape is vibrant, boasting over 200 million active subscribers. But behind the scenes, operators like MTN, Airtel, and Globacom are facing a financial squeeze.

Inflation, currently hovering around 21%, is driving up the cost of doing business. Diesel prices, crucial for powering network infrastructure, have skyrocketed and the depreciation of the Naira has made importing equipment more expensive.

Seeking a Tariff Reset

To counter these challenges, the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has proposed an upward review of tariffs.

They argue that the current pricing structure, established in 2014, no longer reflects economic realities. They are pushing for higher mobile termination rates (MTRs) for voice calls and an adjustment of the minimum price (floor price) for both voice and data services.

Read More: South Africa is Set to Deactivate 2G and 3G Networks in 2027

NCC Holds the Key

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the industry regulator, will ultimately decide whether to approve the proposed tariff increase.

They are currently awaiting the results of a cost-based study by KPMG, commissioned to assess the economic viability of the industry. This study, expected to be completed soon, will inform the NCC’s final decision.

Impact on Consumers

With the impending increase in tariffs, consumers are understandably concerned about how it may affect them financially. While specific details regarding the magnitude of price hikes have not yet been disclosed, experts anticipate moderate increases across all service tiers.

To mitigate any adverse effects, some telecom operators in Nigeria have expressed intentions to offer more affordable bundles or alternative packages tailored towards low-income customers.

Industry Perspective

According to MTN Group CEO Ralph Mupita, “We believe that there needs to be a review of pricing structures given the current macroeconomic environment.”.

Similarly, Airtel Africa Plc Chief Executive Officer Raghunath Mandava stated that “the company would continue to invest heavily in network expansion and upgrades despite the challenges posed by the pandemic and the need to adjust prices.”

These statements reflect the shared sentiment amongst major players in the sector who recognize the necessity for change amidst challenging market conditions.

Competitive Landscape

While the NCC’s decision aims to level the playing field between telecom giants, smaller competitors fear being left behind in the wake of increased tariffs.

Smaller mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), which rely on larger networks like MTN and Airtel for infrastructure, could potentially suffer if they fail to adapt accordingly.

However, some analysts argue that the new tariffs might encourage healthy competition and innovation within the industry.

Government Response

Despite concerns raised by consumer advocacy groups and opposition parties, the federal government remains supportive of the NCC’s efforts to regulate the telecom sector effectively.

Minister of Communication and Digital Economy Isa Pantami emphasized that the commission’s decisions were made in accordance with global best practices and aimed at fostering sustainable growth within the industry.

Final Thoughts

As Nigeria prepares for the implementation of higher tariffs on voice and data services, the future of the telecom industry hangs in the balance.

With both opportunities and risks looming ahead, stakeholders must work together to ensure that the benefits of improved connectivity reach every corner of society.

By staying informed and engaged, consumers can play a vital role in shaping the direction of their digital landscape.

Share your love
Oluchukwu Ikemefuna
Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

Oluchukwu Blessing Ikemefuna, a talented content writer from Anambra, Nigeria, found her writing passion in secondary school. Holding a degree in Biological Sciences from Federal University of Technology, Owerri, she specializes in blog writing across technology, finance, healthcare, education, and lifestyle sectors. With strong research and SEO skills, Oluchukwu creates engaging content globally. Her work aims to inspire and engage authentically while driving action. Outside work, she enjoys travel, reading, and movies as she grows as a skilled writer.

Articles: 197

Newsletter Updates

Enter your email address below and subscribe to our newsletter

Stay informed and not overwhelmed, subscribe now!