Nigerian telecoms reject NCC’s flat interconnection rate proposals

Network service providers in Nigeria are at loggerheads with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) over interconnection rates following the expiration of the current regime in December 2012.

The NCC proposes a flat rate system, while operators are reluctant to swap from the current asymmetrical system and are advising the regulatory body to extend the current regime.

The asymmetrical rates are the glide path interconnection rates which participants at a recently held telecoms sector’s stakeholders’ summit described as the best regime for the sector. At the event held in Lagos, representatives of various telecoms companies spoke extensively on why the industry needs to retain the asymmetrical rates.

According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Etisalat Nigeria Steve Evans, only the dominant telecoms companies will benefit from a flat rate system, while small telecoms companies would be left out. He also described the flat rates as being against healthy competition among the various companies.

His opinion was corroborated by Airtel Nigeria director in charge of regulatory affairs Osondu Nwokoro. The pair enjoined the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to reconsider its plan to introduce flat rates.

“We feel the issue of assymmetry should be looked at again. Our stand is that there should be three levels reflecting the dominant operator, a second level for other GSM operators and a third one for the CDMA mobiles,” Nwokoro said.

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