Apart from inadequate power supply that is affecting quality of service and network rollout in rural communities, the challenges posed by limited number of base stations across the country, have equally been identified as another reason for poor quality of service.
Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ALTON), Mr. Gbenga Adebayo in a chat with THISDAY in Lagos, said: "Nigeria has about 20,000 base station serving about 150 million people as at the end of 2011. Comparing the figure to the 55,000 base stations, serving a population of about 60 million in the United Kingdom at the end of 2011, it becomes clear that there is still a lot more to be done for Nigeria to have a relatively stable quality of services across networks in the entire country."
Adebayo who suggested the installation of 52, 000 base stations across the country, said the issue of poor quality of service would continue to linger if additional Base Transceiver Station (BTS), also known as base stations, were not installed across the country.
To achieve the desired number of BTS in a much-faster way, Adebayo called on government, to as a matter of urgency remove the bottleneck bureaucracy of government in granting approval to BTS installations and rights of ways in laying fibre optic cables that would connect BTSs at some points.
He noted that the intervention of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of the federal, state and local governments in imposing multiple taxes and regulations, would affect roll out time and cost of deploying such infrastructure.
According to Adebayo, "the involvement of trade union in telecoms business is becoming worrisome, as it could adversely affect quality of service. Trade union executives now see telecoms business as a relative large workforce and as an avenue to enhance collection of dues."
He warned against the action of labour union in sealing and locking up telecoms premises under a guise of some unfair labour practices due to none unionisation of telecoms workers. "They do that with impunity without cognisance to the implications to national security and they make media show of such things," Adebayo told THISDAY.
According to him, "while we respect the rights of workers to free association as enshrine in our constitution, as an industry operator, we expect labour to respect the rights of telecoms workers. We all know the economic loss to our nation when tanker drivers and petroleum workers call out their members to strike actions. It often paralyse the economy and you can imagine the kind of loss that Nigeria will suffer from if telecoms operators decides to embark on strike and switch off all telecoms installations in the country in protest of undue labour action."
President of the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Titi Omo-Ettu, said 70 per cent of telecoms operators' challenges in delivering quality of service was that of poor electricity supply, and warned that telecoms operators would go to court to press for damages, if by December 2013, power supply does not improve in the country.
According to him, "telephone operators use 25 million litres of diesel monthly to fuel 20,000 generators located at over 15,000 cell sites in the country, and if the situation is not addressed now, development in telecoms may come to a halt."