The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has directed the five big telecoms operators in the country to increase their data tariffs from Thursday, December 1.
The idea behind the rationale is to allow small operators and new entrants to acquire market share and operate profitably.
An NCC official who confided in newsmen on Monday said the regulator came up with the new data regime after some small operators and new entrants into the market complained that there was no way they could break even if they operated on same data regime with the likes of MTN, GLO, Etisalat and Airtel.
Just in case you were wondering what small operators and new entrants are, the commission’s letter added “For the avoidance of doubt, a small operator is one that has less than 7.5 percent market share and a new entrant is an operator that has operated less than three years in the market”. Hence the NCC’s decision was solely aimed at protecting small telcos like Smile, Spectranet and Ntel. In the past months, the 4G LTE space they dominated has welcomed new players in MTN, Airtel, Etisalat and Glo; players that are in a virtual race for who can deliver data to the largest number of people at the lowest cost.
Some of the bigger telcomms have gotten the message. MTN now welcomes callers on its customer care line with a pre-recorded message that says “Dear Customer, please be informed that from the 1st of December 2016, all MTN data plans will be changed in compliance with the NCC directive to all operators. Thank you”
GLO has also started sending messages to their subscribers; “Dear Customer, your plan will soon expire after which you will be moved to Flexi voice and data recharge. Use it the way you like. To buy another data plan, visit hsi.glo.com or dial *777#”
Nigerians are already reacting to this new development via social media.