New Nigerian Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs) are expected to come into force from January 1, but it is not clear whether they will be lowered or not.
The new rates will decide what Nigerian operators will charge other companies that terminate voice and short message service (SMS) traffic. The new rates are expected to run until 2016 when another review will be carried out.
A source at industry regulator the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) told Leadership they have begun discussions with the telecommunications companies.
The source said: “I cannot say whether the interconnect rates will come down, only the study will determine. There is the issue of the amortisation of the equipment running on the network.
“There is an ongoing study called Cost-Based Study which will reveal whether interconnect rates will come down. This new study will replace the current Asymmetrical Rate that will elapse after three years. For instance, the study will find out the age of the equipment operators are using.”
He said the study will confirm the cost being charged by the various companies.
“If Glo say their own cost is N9, MTN say theirs is N8.50, Etisalat say theirs is N8.20 and so on, the study will find out who is saying the truth, compare the age of the equipment and look at other facts before determining what should be the new rate. The asymmetric rate presented many features that represent improvement in the earlier interconnect rates determinations by the NCC,” he added.
Through the advent of Asymmetric MTRs, new telecoms companies such as Etisalat Nigeria enjoy higher termination rates than the older ones such as MTN due to the result of a study which showed that Etisalat spent more on call termination in their networks.