- Telecoms Tariffs Dip by 67%, Says MTN
MTN yesterday lamented that telecoms tariffs have declined significantly by over 67 per cent between 2007 and this year while data prices in Nigeria are among the lowest on the continent.
Its CEO, Ferdi Moolman who appeared before the Senate yesterday in Abuja in respect of the suspension of the data hike directive issued to the telcos by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), said a number of factors are threatening the sector’s growth sustainability.
Elaborating on the factors, he said: “The rise of headline inflation to about 17.9 per cent; the depletion of operator revenues by unlicensed providers of “over-the-top” telecoms services who do not have any physical presence nor pay any taxes, make any significant contribution to employment or other socio-economic objectives of government in Nigeria; the inability of operators to access foreign exchange (this is particularly debilitating given that most of our inputs are sourced off-shore). This has very significantly increased both operating and capital expenses.”
The telco however restated its commitment to the provision of affordable data and voice services to its customers in the country.
“Despite these macro-economic challenges, telecom tariffs have declined significantly (over 67 per cent between 2007 and 2016) and data prices are amongst the lowest on the continent. “With this in mind, MTN looks forward to the cost study as confirmed by the NCC, and remains committed to working with the regulator and industry to ensure fair value and fair competition in the Nigerian market,” Moolman said.
He said the telco remained unrelentingly committed to the sustained provision of affordable and accessible voice and data services in accordance with the National Broadband Plan (NBP), adding that in line with this commitment and to continue the provision of high speed data services to its esteemed customers, MTN recently bid for, and acquired the 2.6GHz LTE spectrum at the cost of $96million.
“MTN also launched 4G LTE services, enabling faster access to digital platforms and igniting socio-economic development with a multiplier effect on the economy.
“MTN actively contributed to the development of the NBP, and has consistently taken every step to facilitate the achievement of government’s objectives of pervasive, cost-effective and sustainable access to data services by all strata of Nigeria’s population. The company continues to be an ICT development partner to the government and people of Nigeria,”he said.