The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has ruled that mobile operators must charge their subscribers four naira (US$0.03) for off-net short messaging service (SMS).
The new price mandated by the NCC for the off-net SMSs is expected to be in operation by February 5. Before the four naira price was established, subscribers paid between nine and ten naira for off-net SMSing.
Off-net SMSs is a text messages sent across networks from one mobile operator to another
In a statement signed by Josephine Amuwa, the Director of Legal and Regulatory Services, the NCC said the decision was made after an evaluation of SMS tariffs revealed “a general recognition” that charges in the country are “too high”.
On January 3, the NCC, however, said it would not implement a price cap on international SMS as per the demands of mobile operators. This is due to the argument that international SMS interconnect rates are not within the control of the operators since the rates are terminated in different jurisdictions through carrier service providers.
Amuwa confirmed that mobile operators proposed a price cap for off-net SMSing between five and ten naira. She then assured the public that the NCC is working together with mobile operators to reach an agreement.
However, the NCC’s directive for the price cap warned mobile operators that failure to comply would result in penalties as per section 111 of the National Credit act of 2003.